TODAY   |  November 29, 2013

Black Friday bonanza sweeps country

Shoppers are up early on Friday to catch all the best bargains at retail locations across the country. CNBC’s Courtney Reagan reports on the frenzy.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> it is the black friday shopping rush. bargain hunters spent hours in the cold waiting for the doors to open and an frenzy ensued. there aren't too many malls in the country busier today than the mall of america near minneapolis. let's check in with courtney reagan. she is in dayton, ohio. courtney , good morning.

>> good morning to you willie. many malls like this one have been open all night long and while those thanksgiving day hours did prove to spread out the crowds, no indication shoppers are anywhere near done yet. it's black friday after all. it's retail's most important day.

>> ready, set, spend. black friday. the day consumers an estimated 97 million strong shop sales until they drop and the day retailers pray for profits. this year with more stores opening even on thanksgiving the mad dash started extra early as millions gobbled their pumpkin pie and raced to the mall.

>> good time to hang out with the family. get our early christmas shopping done.

>> we like to wait until black friday for the shopping deals.

>> reporter: what's different this year? thanksgiving came late. so there are fewer shopping days until christmas. that means retailers are pulling out all the stops.

>> they're in a race to gain market share and they're giving the consumer every opportunity to come into their store and shop early.

>> most forecasters say we'll be spending more this year but the economic recovery has been slow leaving consumers spending carefully. forcing stores to do whatever it takes to get you to open your wallet.

>> great prices. it doesn't necessarily mean the retailer isn't making money. by the time we get through holiday it's going to be marginal growth at best.

>> there's hope for jolly holiday online. the national retail federation estimates online holiday sales will hit 82 billion this year. a 13 to 15% increase over last year. the majority of holiday sales will still come from brick and mortar stores with technology and clothing expected to lead the way.

>> all the retailers are doing by throwing all of these discounts at us is training the consumer never to pay full price again.

>> a lot of places have sales that end at noon. we want to catch those sales before they stop.

>> it's fun because just to get out with the big crowds and the hustle and bustle.

>> reporter: for all of you nonstop shoppers, don't exhaust yourself too early. cyber monday is just around the corner. and so far online sales off to a strong start. ibm says sales are up 11.5% online. willie, back to you.

>> courtney reagan, santa already falling