PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The shopping season is underway and many people are taking advantage of Black Friday deals today.
Bargain hunters were out early around the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.
“Everyone thinks Black Friday is going to be super chaotic but it’s been cool,” Cherry Hill Mall shopper Michelle Mayfield said.
Still, it’s been a hustle for many who have been hunting for bargains since the doors opened at 6 a.m.
For others like Kate Angelini and her daughter Alexis, it’s all about the strategy.
“We already did a couple trips to the car, that’s why we don’t have as many bags,” Kati said. “You gotta go unload then you come back and shop.”
Black Friday sales are expected to hit $23 billion. According to Mastercard, that’s up from $21 billion last year.
Although retailers are offering much of their deals online, shoppers still showed up at the mall for the scenery and deep discounts.
Denise Moment from Philadelphia brought her three granddaughters.
“They love to spend the money, but they want stuff, other things but Santa’s coming but it’s okay,” Moment said. “They still spoiled, most of it is for them.”
Kids are also trying to cash in. Just ask nine-year-old Bella Mayfield from Willingboro.
“I want a PS4 and my dad is thinking about getting one,” she said.
Regardless of the motive, for many, it’s all about the holiday spirit.
“I love to see the people out,” Moment said. “I just love to see the warmth out and everybody shopping and having a good time. That’s what I love and especially after Thanksgiving, being thankful and grateful for everything we get and do.”
Thanks to a booming economy, analysts expect Americans to spend more than a trillion dollars this holiday season.
An estimated 116 million are expected to hit the stores today in search of a bargain.
And the average consumer is expected to spend just over a thousand dollars on holiday gifts.
Check out store hours, deals, and everything Black Friday, here.