CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Perhaps as a sign of the times, Belk stores in the Carolinas offered the first 250 customers in line at all their stores gift cards for coming in person. One of the cards was valued at $1,000.

"Free money?" said one shopper in line at the South Park Mall Store. "Why not!"

It's no secret that department stores have big sales on Black Friday, but industry watcher WalletHub says the Charlotte-Based retailer is pulling out all the stops. WalletHub says Belk is giving consumers an average of 68.3% on most items.

There were easily over 250 people waiting for the 4pm start time at the South Park Mall store Thanksgiving afternoon.

So why the big push? Industry analysts predict 'on-line' shopping will continue to grow again this year most likely causing the innovation in Black Friday deals for in store visits.

"We won $5.00." said a father to NBC Charlotte "Not bad!"