Millions of Americans are expected to go shopping this weekend, and many Minnesotans were lined up outside of local malls before the sun rose Friday morning.
More than 1,000 shoppers gathered outside of Mall of America when doors opened at 5 a.m. Friday (the mall wasn't open on Thanksgiving Day), KSTP reports. An estimated 400,000 shoppers are expected to visit the mall through Sunday, the news station says.
And it looks like deciding not to open on Thanksgiving Day has paid off for the mall, Business Insider reports. Whitney Young, a retail specialist with Deloitte, told the publication the mall was "jam-packed" Friday morning, and employees at the mall told her stores are "busier this year than last year and people are buying more."
This is somewhat surprising, Young told Business Insider, noting experts predicted store traffic would fall on Black Friday because more people are choosing to shop online.
Online shopping has been quite popular this year too. According to Adobe Digital Insights, by the end of Thanksgiving Day, people had spent $1.93 billion on online sales, while people shopping online on Black Friday had spent $490 million by 7:30 a.m.
Target sees record-breaking sales
Target is reporting record-breaking online sales for its Black Friday deals (they're available all weekend), with traffic surpassing 2015 Cyber Monday, a news release says.
"Shopping at Target has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition for millions of our guests, and we’re thrilled at the response we’ve seen this year. We had a record-breaking day on Target.com and traffic to our stores was strong,” Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, said in the release.
Other stores have also seen a surge in online shopping, and that proved problematic for Macy's – the website encountered a "temporary shopping jam" on Friday.