Black Friday, Detroit, Metro Detroit, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

DETROIT (WWJ) — Cash registers at area stores are working overtime as Black Friday shoppers take advantage of bargains.

The day after Thanksgiving — known as Black Friday — has become a tradition for holiday shopping deals and bargains, and it was no different again today across the metro Detroit area. Thousands of local residents flooded malls, department stores, electronic shops and other locations searching for great deals.

One woman who was out on Black Friday said she went to the Toys-R-Us in Madison Heights to get some presents for her two children.

“I got video games, I got Nerf guns,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Vicki Thomas.

With holiday shopping now officially underway, AAA says it’s expected to be a robust shopping season. According to the auto club’s Consumer Pulse survey, over one in six Michiganders say they will spend more on gifts this year. The average Michigan shopper plans to spend slightly more than $900 on gifts, an 8 percent increase over last year.

Michael of Warren would fall into that group of Michiganders who will spend more money on gifts this year. He said he tries to not overdo it during the holiday seasons, but normally spends more than he’d like.

“I try to go less but it doesn’t work out that way,” Michael said.

AAA also says the busiest shopping days are expected to be today and Cyber Monday. Gift cards, cash and clothing are the most popular holiday purchases, followed by traveling and electronics.

Steve Barlow, general manager at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, seconds that today is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. He added that a few of the upcoming weekends should also be very busy for the mall.

“It’s obviously very strong during (the) Thanksgiving period,” Barlow said. “This will be one of the busiest weekends. As you get closer to 10-14 days out from Christmas, the crowds start growing again and actually that weekend — the extra weekend this year before Christmas — I think has potential to be much larger than this weekend.”

Black Friday has started to stretch into Thanksgiving with some hitting the stores right after their turkey dinner. Marie Thornbledh and her family have been at it since last night, with already 18 hours worth of shopping.

“We started last night,” Thornbledh said. “About 6 p.m. Not tired at all, even though my feet hurt a little bit.”

The Thornbledh family says some of their best purchases came at Best Buy, where they bought computers for the entire family. Thornbledh says shes also going to get herself something today.

“I need some boots,” she said. “I have gift cards from my birthday so I want to spend them right here.”

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