KHQ.COM - Hordes of shoppers descended on stores across the country in the ritual known as Black Friday after many major retailers moved their openings into Thanksgiving night.
At the Mall of America, outside Minneapolis, shoppers thronged the stores to load up on goods early Friday but the situation was under control, NBC News' Jay Gray reported.
Stores typically open in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving, named Black Friday because it is traditionally when they turn a profit for the year.
But this year, stores such as Target and Toys R Us opened as early as Thanksgiving evening.
That led holiday shoppers to ask themselves a tough question: Deal with the crowds now or later?
Finding the best Black Friday deals started Thursday evening for many shoppers as some major stores opened earlier than ever to get a jump on the holiday shopping season. It is unclear how many shoppers were drawn to the earlier openings versus the traditional Black Friday hours. But a survey this month found about 17 percent planned to shop at stores that opened on Thanksgiving.