Shoppers scored some big deals on Black Friday as stores around the state kicked off the official start to the holiday shopping season.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 100 million people nationwide will shop in stores and online on Black Friday, and experts say the average shopper will shell out close to $600 on gifts this year.
Westfarms Mall in West Hartford opened Friday at 7 a.m., however, a spokesperson said about 20 stores stayed open through Thursday night.
"it's really morphed into the Black Friday weekend at Westfarms,” mall spokesperson Amanda Sirica said. “You're going to see these great sales throughout the weekend. You've got 29 days left for shopping."
Shoppers at Westfarms were taking advantage of sales for electronic gadgets, toys and clothing.
"We've got some great deals on apparel with deep discounts at 50 percent off select retailers, Abercrombie, Gap, White House Black Market, the list goes on," Sirica said.
Many stores were offering deals through the weekend.
"It's really morphed into the Black Friday weekend at Westfarms," Sirica said. "You're going to see these great sales throughout the weekend. You've got 29 days left for shopping."
Analysts predict over the 29 days, retail sales will go up by about four percent compared to last year and online sales will surge as much as 10 percent.
"Like we use to get up every morning on Black Friday, three in the morning, go everywhere," Pat Courtney,of Manchester, said. "These days you get up on Thanksgiving, order it online and you come out just out of habit really."
Cabellas in East Hartford opened at 5 a.m., but people lined up early Friday morning to get deals. For the second morning in a row, the Toys "R" Us in Manchester was bustling with customers. They said they were cashing in on some Black Friday deals.
"So far what we've gotten, we've gotten on sale, so it's a good thing," Sandy Schuchmann, of Oxford, said.
To see when stores open on Friday, click here.
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