“We're just hanging with the crowd, we don't even have a list,” said one Black Friday shopper.
Three hours later, the malls gave new meaning to the phrase ‘Early Bird’, by opening at the stroke of midnight.
Daybreak here at the Metropolis Mall in Plainfield brought out the Black Friday shoppers for some warm weather outdoor shopping, but that does not mean they waited until daybreak to get at it.
The flagship stores opened at midnight, others at 3 a.m. and the rest at 6 a.m.
Amanda Clark started at the tail end of Thursday, and was still going strong midday Friday.
“Everything is pretty crowed, lines are long, that's part of the deal,” said Clark. “We like it. It's what makes it fun.”
For some, it is a holiday tradition and a legitimate chance to take advantage of deals that will not be there long.
By lunch time, shoppers were still in full force scoping out the irresistible deals.
“A couple hundred people were in line for Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret,” said Daniel Jenkins, Metropolis Security. “Were they the big winners from your vantage point? Old Navy was I think when they opened."
There was a lot of buzz, positive and negative, about retailers opening earlier than ever. Some did not wait until Friday, and instead opened late Thursday.
"We started at 11 o’clock last night and ended at 3 a.m., went home, took a nap and there we're out again,” said another shopper.
Did it make a difference in this fragile, but rebounding economy? The perspective from the shopper and retailer suggests this year, feels a lot like last year, just with an earlier start.
Black Friday is important for American retailers, which as a whole will attract 40 percent of the year's business this weekend.
"We make, typically what stores make in a week, we make in one day, so it's very, very important to all companies,” said Carrie Dixon, employee of Charlotte Russe.
Charlotte Russe opened at 3 a.m., three hours earlier than last year, and they had a line of customers waiting for them to unlock the doors.
"We had a really good rush this morning, and it's kind of made it easier on my staff this year because the sale was spread out this year,” said Dixon.
Some people choose not to take part in the chaotic shopping day. The Farr Family of Avon came to the mall for the holidays but not for the shopping.
"We didn't come to the mall to shop,” said Libby Farr. “Black Friday kind of scares me. We came here to take a picture with Santa. We have followed this Santa around Indianapolis for the last 16 or 17 years now, so it's part of our family tradition to kick off the holidays.”