While Phipps Plaza’s parking lots were only 20 to 25 percent full at about 10:30 this morning, Lenox Square's parking lots were about 80 percent full all morning.
Phipps' Belk opened at midnight, as well as Macy’s at Lenox and a few other stores including Urban Outfitters.
However, at about 11 a.m., Stacy Young, an employee at the hip store, said the store had not yet met their sales quota, which gives employees checkpoints through the day.
“I think it's the economy,” she said.
Young said the store had been busy on and off through the morning.
By noon, Phipps’ surface lots were 75 percent full and decks were 30 to 35 percent full. Lenox's lots were at 90 percent, and by 2 p.m., Phipps’ lots were 60 percent full, with Lenox’s lots at 100 percent by 4 p.m.
One store at Phipps saw an unusual amount of traffic, however. Tory Burch promoted a sale in which shoppers would receive 30 percent off if they bought $750 or more of merchandise.
At 12:45 p.m., the store was at full capacity and had a waiting line to get inside.
India and Ashton Miller came all the way from Bainbridge to shop at the store. The pair was at Phipps early after having shopped at the North Georgia Premium Outlets the night before until 2 a.m.
“Normally, there's no discount at Tory,” said India. “It's so different in the store than when you see it online.”
Though the two got to the store before the line started, they said their experience at the outlet mall was completely different.
“It was just past ridiculous,” said India. “Cars were parked everywhere, and people were paying people who lived across the road to park at their house. We had to wait 30 minutes just to get into the stores and about an hour to buy our things.”
Bill Kemp, a shoe department manager at Bloomingdale's in Lenox, said he had seen increased foot traffic, as well as sales from last year's Black Friday.
Sandra Mathis, of Dalton, started shopping about 8 a.m. and said she had not waited in any long lines.
“The longest line we had to wait in was at Madewell (in Lenox). It was only about five minutes,” she said.
Mathis said she expected to spend about the same amount shopping for Christmas this year as she did last year.
The National Retail Federation will release its Black Friday Report Sunday.