By Mike Dougherty, Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — What seemed like a unusually slow day at the outset gave way to some larger crowds at area malls as shoppers searched for the best Black Friday deals.

The turkey was still warm when shopping began on Thanksgiving night and it seemed to take a bite out of Black Friday. That was good news for early birds at the Cherry Hill Mall who aren’t fond of crowds, but other “Black Friday veterans” are not crazy about the new format.

“I actually liked when we would sit outside and wait for the stores to open at three, four, or five in the morning,” said Theresa from Audubon, New Jersey.

Theresa said she actually preferred to wait outside in the cold rather than simply being able to come right on in and do her thing.

“It’s like a sport,” she said. ‘They’ve totally changed the game plan and I still haven’t adjusted.”

But later in the day, however, the mall crowds were noticeably larger — and you didn’t have to go inside to realize it. Finding a Black Firday bargain was easier than finding a place to park.

(credit: Mike DeNardo)

(credit: Mike DeNardo)

“This is actually my first time coming here,” said Nychelle, “so I was not prepared for this.”

Nychelle circled the parking lot at the King of Prussia Mall, searching for a parking space. A few times she tried to put her blinker on to claim one, but other cars pulled in first.

“They’re pretty fast,” she said. “These old people are vicious! They will block you off and you can’t go nowhere!”

Other times, shoppers at their cars who weren’t leaving waved her past. Finally, like an oasis in the desert, a stretch of open spaces appeared in the parking garage near Bloomingdales.

“Only 20 minutes,” she said. “Not bad!”

A whole lot of patience rewarded.

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