Shoppers hit stores for Black Friday in Brooklyn
The holiday gift rush began early Friday morning for some in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn residents were at the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Fort Greene to grab some Black Friday deals.
Some shoppers say the stores weren't as crowded as they anticipated.
"In past years it was more crowded to be honest, but I guess people get smart and they start doing it earlier...." says Patsy Hostenlaws.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, used to launch the holiday season, but the competition to grab customers first is keen. Stores like Macy's, Walmart, Target and more were open Thursday evening in what they hope will be a new holiday tradition.
This weekend is crucial to set the tone for the holiday season. Around 137 million people plan to or are considering doing their shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation. That includes online and store shopping. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, vies with the Saturday before Christmas as the busiest shopping day of the year.
The NRF, the nation's largest retail group, expects holiday sales to rise 3.6 percent for November and December, better than the 3 percent growth seen for those months last year. That excludes car sales, gas and restaurant receipts but includes online spending and other non-store sales such as catalog spending.
Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.