SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - From big boxes to local malls, shoppers lined up and flooded Utah's stores on Black Friday.
It's the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season when retailers earn more than a third of their annual sales.
“It is an important day for businesses,” said Natalie Watson, manager Fashion Place Mall. “We have a lot of retailers who have been very smart with pulling out no stops on the discounts they are offering and the deals that they have in store.”
Even with a the “fiscal cliff” looming in Washington that some economists say could spark another recession, shoppers didn't hold back at City Creek Center’s first Black Friday.
“Our traffic is really exactly where we thought it would be,” said Linda Wardell, General Manger of City Creek Center. “It's one of the great things about being located in Utah, our economy in general has been very different than what the national performance has been.”
The recently opened Outlets and Traverse Mountain in Lehi also saw dollar signs Friday. “We had amazing lines, long lines,” said Chuck Stackhouse, General Manager of Gap Outlet. “It's just be fun and it's been a pleasant surprise.”
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 2/3 of shoppers are planning to spend the same amount of money as last year. 11 percent will spend more. “I am more confident this year,” said City Creek shopper Dianna Tagliabue. “My husband is in the building business and he's getting more building jobs this year.”
The economy isn't the only thing on retailers' minds, so is Cyber Monday competition.
According to IBM Commerce, 68 percent of Black Friday shoppers are staying home, opting to do their buying online. But shoppers ABC4 spoke with say there are pros and cons to shopping both online and in person.
“I like to touch and feel the product,” said Tagliabue.
When the holiday shopping season is all said and done, the National Retail Federation expects sales to grow by more than 4 percent this year.