The onset of Black Friday puts retailers in that pins-and-needles time of year which could determine as much as 40 percent of annual revenue.
And the push to lure shoppers had Black Friday starting Thursday for some stores with retailers emptying their bag of tricks.
It's expected that shoppers will spend nearly $500 billion during the holiday shopping season, or about 3 percent more than they did last year.
About 34 percent of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday, up from 31 percent last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, and 16 percent had planned to shop on Thanksgiving Day itself. For the weekend, 152 million people are expected shop, up from 138 million last year.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)