It's called Black Friday because it begins the period in which many retailers turn profitable for the year.
Shoppers began lining up at area retailers on Thursday night, and some joined in the consumer frenzy early Friday morning at local malls and specialty stores.
One shopper, identified as Jeanne, described her shopping experience.
"We went to Walmart. Then we went to the mall ... Now, we're going to Kohl's," she says.
She was also asked about her experience at Walmart.
"Busy, extremely busy. I waited in line to cash out for about an hour," she says.
Another shopper, Karen Turnbull, thinks the Thursday night openings, resulted in smaller crowds on Friday morning.
"There's nowhere near the amount of people out," Turnbull says.
Some stores in Western New York are also looking forward to Small Business Saturday, set for tomorrow...
These days, the early morning shoppers on Black Friday are likely to have been at it all night.
Lori Chandler and her husband Sam were among the early shoppers this morning at a Wal-Mart in Greenville, S.C. But they had already hit several other stores, including Target and Best Buy. They'd started their shopping at midnight.
While some shoppers waited in crowds for the stores to open early on Black Friday, others went online to take advantage of the post-Thanksgiving sales.
And then there are those who do both. Carey Maguire and her sister Caitlyn showed up at a Target store in New York City about two hours before it opened yesterday evening, looking for several Nook tablet computers that were on sale for $49. But while they were waiting, they used their iPhones to do some online shopping elsewhere.
One woman who decided to wait until about 3:30 a.m. to shop at a Toys R Us in New York's Times Square, instead of going at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, says she thinks she avoided some of the long lines. Elizabeth Garcia says the crowds got to her last year, when she almost got into a fight over a Tinker Bell couch. This year, she says, she "wasn't about to kill people."