Posted on November 23, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Friday, Nov 23 at 6:20 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season and typically the busiest shopping day of the entire year.
Carolina Place Mall in Pineville was one of many places packed since early Friday morning with shoppers looking for the best deals and trying to save money.
Officials say an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people visited the mall for Black Friday alone.
That includes Tami Rowe-Jarvis, who had her mind made up she was not going to battle Black Friday crowds until husband Alvin pleaded his case.
"Figured hey, why not," he said.
The convincing didn't take any arm-twisting.
"For the deals," she said.
Rowe-Jarvis says the deals were worth battling the crowds. She bought new shoes for her three sons.
"We actually saved probably 40 percent of what we anticipated spending on footwear for the boys."
"I'm happy with that," Alvin said.
Stores hope to be happy with Black Friday sales and the month leading up to Christmas.
Experts say the holiday shopping season starting with Black Friday typically makes up 20 to 40 percent of a store's annual profits.
A scarf kiosk owner inside Carolina Place Mall says it seems people aren't as afraid to spend as they've been in the past.
"It's the number one Black Friday I've had in 12 years," Khaled Shamma said.
"I got things from Bath and Body Works, got things from Yankee Candle," said shopper Michele Howard, who spend a couple hundred dollars Friday.
Her bags were so heavy that she put round one of shopping in her trunk and then went back inside the mall for round two.
"We'll be at the mall another hour before hitting other stores, then head home to eat leftovers. "
She says Black Friday is not a one mall affair.
"Oh no, multiple mall and multiple place affair, it's an event, it's Black Friday. "
Howard says the only downside was waiting in long lines to pay for her merchandise.
The National Retail Federation says shoppers will spend an estimated $586 billion dollars from now until Christmas, which is expected to be up about 4 percent from last year.