(WXYZ) — Once Thanksgiving plates were cleaned, hundreds of metro Detroit shoppers flocked to area big box stores to kick off the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season – Black Friday Eve.
Best Buy in Madison Heights opened its doors at 5 p.m. and people were lined up around the building by 3 p.m., according to eager shoppers.
“I’m trying to get a MacBook Air," said Darshini Jeyabaul, who came to Best Buy with her friends.
“New fridge, new stove, new microwave, new dishwasher. Basically the whole kitchen," said Zacch Ashcraft.
According to the National Retail Federation, 47 percent of shoppers are expected to hit up brick and mortar stores for holiday deals, leaving 53 percent to shop online.
"Most people buy it online, so the store's empty. There’s not that many people," said one shopper on his way into Target in Madison Heights, who feels in-store shopping has become and less and less hectic in recent years.
Ashcraft said when shopping for larger items like kitchen appliances, being able to physically check out merchandise is paramount.
"You can’t really open a door on a fridge when you’re looking at your phone," he said.
For some people, Black Friday bargain hunting is more about the tradition than the actual deals.
“Everyone buys into the hype," said Jeyabaul, who's now taken part in the Black Friday shopping tradition for two years.
American shoppers are expected to spend around $730 Billion on holiday shopping throughout November and December this year, up 4.2 percent from last year according to the National Retail Federation.
“In all honesty I did bring every card that I could think of that I do own, but I’m hoping to keep it under like $1,000," said shopper Savannah Maddox.
Star Hayes was at Walmart in Clinton Township Thursday night.
"I bought the Apple Watch Series 3 for $129. I think I hit the jackpot," she told 7Action News.