At Midway Mall, Erin Robles, 20, of Lorain, had been second in line since 2 a.m. waiting for Best Buy to open at 5 p.m. Over the years, the biggest start to the holiday season for major retailers has been shifted to Thursday instead of the traditional Black Friday.
"I think (there are) good savings after Thanksgiving into Christmas", Okonji said.
Some say Thanksgiving deserves it's day, cautioning others to enjoy the holiday before putting the tree up and jumping into Christmas.
Traditionally shoppers cram the mall to snag gifts at low prices and this year is no different.
"I looked online last night and came after the items I was after but along the way, you know, you find a lot more", said Serene Wolters, a Black Friday shopper. The Lima Mall will close at 1 a.m. Thursday night and reopen Friday morning at 6 a.m. for Black Friday. Amanda Tidwell says this isn't her first stop of the day, "I was at Best Buy earlier to see if they had any electronic deals. now I'm at JC Pennys to see if they have any home deals".
"Just nuts", Christopher LaBarge said. On Friday morning, the mall had more traffic than usual, with several people walking in and out of stores carrying bags of items.
Then there's the cultural draw of Black Friday. According to History.com, many people attribute Black Friday to sales finally going from "in the red" (negative sales) to going "in the black" (positive sales) after a long year of deficits and no profits.
She was scheduled to work a shift at The Gap at 9 p.m. but made a quick trip to Old Navy, drawn by half-off sales and the promise of "cheap clothes".
Others just came to see what the shopping holiday is all about.
One survey found almost half of respondents planned to skip Black Friday and Cyber Monday altogether this year. "I don't think the stores should open on Thanksgiving, that everybody should spend time with their family".
"I love it, I love to shop, it's my hobby, it's fun", said one woman shopping.
"For Gen Z, the holiday shopping weekend is a can't-miss opportunity", Goodfellow, the analyst, said. Black Friday showed profits of $3.34 billion and Cyber Monday earned $3.45 billion, all in just two days.