Do you think the Black Friday in 2019 will beat the Singles Day this time? "Black Friday isn't as important as it was in the past, but it is still the biggest shopping day".
A half-hour later, they sat with their purchases sharing a thermos of hot chocolate, a tradition Lopez started years ago when she had to wait in line for the store to open and the first shoppers inside got gifts like stuffed animals. Some French lawmakers called for banning Black Friday altogether.
"I will come to the mall, look at prices and go back and check them online", said Dick Doyle, 76, who was at a Modell's Sporting Goods in Virginia, while his wife was next door at Nordstrom Rack.
Sales made prior to Thanksgiving and Black Friday could erode "the spike that we have seen in sales dollars historically", Bitar said. "Now it seems more symbolic than significant in the pantheon of retail holidays".
"I think by the time we get into the Black Friday weekend, the weather will not be almost as disruptive", Walsh told CNN Business.
Friday's sale led to copycat versions throughout Europe, an effort that has not caused much friction.
Workers at Amazon distribution centres in Germany have gone on strike for better pay on Black Friday.
In the United States, there has been little such subversion. Rather, the bigger emerging challenge for Black Friday has been shifting consumer patterns. "It's been a lot easier for the customer, so they don't have to deal with all the hustle and bustle".
Retail economists and insiders generally have confidence in the prospects for the 2019 season due to a strong labor market.
That's left consumers as the main drivers.
That's in line with the National Retail Federation's projections of 2019 holiday sales to hit between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion - an increase of 3.8% to 4.2% from previous year. This record is over two times of the total sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the same year.
But more and more of those sales are migrating online.
This trend includes Amazon of course, but also traditional brick-and-mortar chains like Walmart and Macy's that have evolved into "multichannel" retailers, as well as companies and organizations hawking everything from pet food to hotel stays to political merchandise.
President Donald Trump's merchandise was discounted "Make America Great Again" on the US President's political website with a 35 percent discount.
Several stores offered doorbuster deals on electronics like televisions, tablets, computers and coffee makers. But with six fewer days than past year, it will be the shortest season since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November - the latest possible date it could be.
Black Friday online sales are now on track to reach $7.4 billion, and shoppers have already spent more than $600 million online as of 9 a.m. ET Friday morning, according to Adobe Analytics.
While Black Friday still matters, its relevance is fading as the holiday shopping season now begins the week before Halloween and stretches to Christmas Eve with retailers offering deep discounts throughout the season.
Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, according to the National Retail Federation.