According to the federation’s annual survey on Black Friday shopping, a record-breaking 247 million consumers shopped during the holiday weekend, up from 226 million last year.
The parking lots Friday at Northlake Mall were at least halfway full for much of the day with capacity hitting 80 percent around 5 p.m. Although the mall opened at 4 a.m., the midnight openings of anchor stores Kohl’s and Macy’s kept shoppers in the area all day.
“Our stores that opened midnight had a great run,” said mall spokeswoman Shelley Korenbrot. “Kohl’s had a long line that wrapped around the building to go in and everyone was going after their door-buster items. Macy’s also opened at midnight and they did really well on their door-buster items too.”
Sears opened even earlier at 8 p.m. Thursday.
“They had a ton of people waiting for the electronic specials,” Korenbrot said.
J.C. Penney at Northlake Mall opened at 6 a.m.
“We’ve seen very strong traffic and constant traffic,” said store leader Al Capers.
The Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores in Tucker began its deals Thursday night at 8 p.m. until midnight. The store re-opened at 6 a.m. Friday and continued with deals all weekend, said store manager Holly Ferguson.
Smaller local stores also got in on the fervor of Black Friday shopping.
Bellismo Accessories in Dunwoody opened an hour earlier than usual at 10 a.m. Friday. Store co-owner Patti Simpson said she saw more customers come through the shop than on a typical Friday morning.
DeKalb County residents Cindy Pitts and Vivian Conner said they planned on stopping through some local shops after visiting Northlake Mall Friday.
“We like to do local shopping,” Pitts said.
They shop on Black Friday every year and started their day around 6:30 or 7 a.m. with a detailed plan of what stores to visit and which deals to tackle.
Kathy Chastain, of Tucker, started her Black Friday shopping at 8 p.m. Thursday at Walmart.
“It was really crowded and packed,” she said. “It was a pretty long line, but it moved quickly.”
She also makes Black Friday shopping her annual tradition and said she found good deals at Kohl’s at Northlake Mall.
Decatur resident Daniel Chen arrived at Northlake Mall around 9 a.m. Friday for morning sales at Macy’s. He shopped for clothes and household items but planned to limit his shopping outing to the morning hours as to not exasperate the patience of his young daughter.