With their Thanksgiving meals devoured, people packed WestFarms in West Hartford on Thursday night in search of early Black Friday discounts.
“I just got a steal on this purse. I saved like 45-percent,” said Jake Cabrila of Terryville.
“It’s a lot of people here. A lot. Amazing people are here,” said Maria Camacho of Hartford.
Tom and Ericka Lowell, of Avon waited 18 hours outside of Best Buy in West Hartford.
“I wanted to be first,” Tom Lowell said.
The Lowells said heading out for early Black Friday shopping is a decade-long tradition for them.
This time they looked to save big on TVs.
“Over $1,500," said Ericka Lowell. She said if it wasn't for the big savings, she would be enjoying the warmth of her home instead.
This holiday season the National Retail Federation predicts shoppers will spend around $730 billion, including on the hot buys such as LEGOs, dolls, and video games.
With people spending about a $1,000 each, many say it’s smart to shop on this day of deals.
“One year we were out until 3 a.m. So we hit up Denny’s after and then we started again the next day,” said Valerie Howe of Bristol.
“It’s actually really fun but tiring at the same time and cold sometimes,” said Mikayla Lavigne of Bristol.
From Thanksgiving until Cyber Monday, about 165 million people will head to a store or shop online.
Though for some, digital doesn’t quite capture the spirit of the season.
“It’s not the same experience. You need that hands on. You have to go to the mall, like get your hands dirty and struggle with all of the people,” said Nicole Rucki of Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
A mall spokesperson thinks one reason people might have gotten a jump on shopping is realizing this holiday season is six days shorter than last year.
There are just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.