It's as much a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and pumpkin pie.
This weekend past signals the start of the holiday shopping season across the nation. And while turkey will always be the Thanksgiving dinner staple it looks like holiday shopping is evolving right before our eyes.
"Lots of traffic," explains Carlos Carrilo, an associate with the Best Buy location on South Dale Mabry in Tampa. "[That means] lots of customers coming in doing some early holiday shopping."
This year there was an increased emphasis on "early."
A handful of retail outlets didn't even wait for the leftovers to get cold. Some opened Thanksgiving night, bypassing the traditional unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, Black Friday.
Early returns indicate retailers aren't regretting their decision.
"It was a great start to our holiday season," Carrilo adds. "We got the right amount of people in [and] we had a good time with them."
The numbers back up that claim.
According to the National Retail Federation an estimated 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the weekend spending almost $60 billion.
And it's not over, not by a long shot.
"Cyber Monday this year could be the single biggest online shopping day in history," says USA Today contributor Regina Lewis. "Also the most lucrative."
Monday of course, is Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
If you visit your favorite store's website you'll likely see they've already geared up for the big day with many not waiting for Monday to start the ‘cyber deals.' All this jockeying for retail position could really help consumer's pocketbooks in the long run.
"Watch for e-tailers to pull out all the stops," Lewis said of the 2012 version of Cyber Monday.
The Best Buy on South Dale Mabry says they'll have lines set up for customers to come in and pick up their online purchases.
All in an attempt to please every holiday shopper, even the ones who decided to sit the weekend out.
Carrilo: "People that didn't want to brave the Black Friday weekend can still get great prices and great deals online from the comfort of their homes."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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