STAMFORD, Conn. — Mary Hurtado said her Thanksgiving dinner would take place after she did some shopping Thursday evening at Lord & Taylor in Stamford.
"We're going to do it later," Hurtado said about dinner as she walked into the store with her mother, Julia. They were joined by the crowd who had lined up for the 5 p.m. opening at the retail store. Hurtado said she was attracted by a special one-day coupon that she could used on speciality items.
"That you can use the coupon to buy fragrances," she said about the $20 discount. "It includes products that in other stores is excluded."
The coupon was handed out by employees as customers entered the store.
Although Black Friday is traditionally the day when stores open early, enticing shoppers with drastically reduced items, Thanksgiving Day itself has increasingly become a shopping day for people looking for deals.
So while many were sleeping off their turkey and sweet potato pie, eager shoppers were flocking to the area's busiest shopping hubs with an eye toward getting a jumpstart on holiday shopping.
Myda Jean Paul joined her sister, Marjorie Cius, and Marjorie's daughter, Aisha, at Lord & Taylor.
Jean Paul also said the sales attracted her to the store.
"I just ate my dinner and I ran here," she said with a laugh. She lives in suburban Atlanta and had returned to Stamford to visit family.
Marjorie Cius said shopping was a way to do some "girl stuff" on a day that's known more for its football and turkey.
But the early Black Friday sales have recently come under fire, as many say the deals interfere with what should be family time during Thanksgiving.
According to the National Retail Federation, there has been a dramatic decrease in shoppers in recent years. It went from a peak of 147 million in-store patrons who spent an average of $423 in 2012 each to a low last year of just 102 million shoppers who spent less than $300 each.
Additionally, the NRF is reporting that stores are expected to hire 640,000 to 690,000 seasonal workers this year, down from the 700,000 workers hired in 2015 and 713,000 the year before.
If you don't get your fill of deals by the end of the day Friday, don't fret.
Local business owners are urging shoppers to participate in Shop Small Saturday this coming weekend by stopping in at locally owned stores.
Many locally owned businesses will be offering specials for shoppers participating in Shop Small Saturday, which is sponsored by American Express. It will be rewarding purchases made with an American Express card at participating merchants through the end of the year.
And you may still be able to make up for it — and then some — online. We're just a few days away from Cyber Monday.