Before the official start of Black Friday, shoppers turned out in droves to cash in on early holiday deals throughout the Bay Area and across the country Thursday evening.
Popular establishments ranging from Macy's to Target and Walmart to Toys-R-Us are just a host of stores to continue the recent holiday trend: open store doors Thanksgiving night instead of waiting until the once-customary time of early Friday morning.
Despite previous horror stories of people trampling each other while making a beeline for coveted gifts, shoppers outside Macy's in San Francisco's Union Square entered the establishment promptly at 5 p.m. in an orderly manner, much to the delight of excited fans.
"It's great because I love shopping," Fatima Faiyaz from San Francisco said. "Black Friday, sales, got some cash in my wallet."
Those chasing the latest electronics and trendy gadgets gathered outside a nearby Best Buy and formed a line that wrapped around the building before flocking to store shelves.
Others swarmed Target stores across the Bay Area to take advantage of shoe deals or kitchen supply savings.
While some shoppers chase deals, others are just looking for a break.
"If I stay at home, I might have to help cook some side, so I might as well try and stay out here with my partner, shop it up and get a TV," Tyson Blair from San Francisco said.
An expected 137 million people are expected to shop this holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.