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Brick-and-mortar still going strong as shoppers flock to King of Prussia, Cherry Hill malls for Black Friday

Catching up with Cherry Hill Mall shoppers on Black Friday
Catching up with Cherry Hill Mall shoppers on Black Friday 03:16

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) -- Hoping the price was right, early-morning shoppers flocked to the malls and stores in our region on Black Friday to snag deals on gifts for their loved ones.

The King of Prussia Mall opened at 6 a.m. and out in Cherry Hill, shoppers got right in the doors when they opened at 7 a.m.

We saw plenty of shoppers including Pedro, who came with a long list of gifts he's buying for his girlfriend. We won't screenshot the whole list here to avoid spoiling her holidays, but it seems like Pedro will have a lot to carry out from the mall.

We asked Pedro if he looked forward to Black Friday.

"Every year," he said. "The deals, meeting people, the great energy and vibes."

Nearby was 15-year-old Brandyn Ross, selling hoodies and hats from his business Studying Never Stops. You can read more about his business in our June piece or check out his Shopify site.

The National Retail Federation says shoppers will spend up to $966 billion this holiday season, 3-4% more than in 2022 - however, that increase is mostly due to inflation.

RELATED: Small Business Saturday guide: where to shop in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

Experts say online shopping is increasingly becoming the dominant method of snagging holiday deals and that more people buy goods on their phones than on their computers.

Adobe Analytics reports that 51% of online holiday purchases will be made on the phone.

Cyber Monday is expected to draw more interest than Black Friday as well.  

In a survey from financial services company Bankrate, 66% of shoppers said they were likely to buy something on Cyber Monday compared to only 56% on Black Friday.

If you're hoping to avoid crowds, you may want to do your shopping during the week - some retailers are extending the length of deals this year, expecting customers to be more frugal.

But for Lisa Wolstromer, senior marketing director at PREIT, retail still has its positives.

"Brick and mortar survived the pandemic, and we have co-existed with online shopping for a long time," Wolstromer said. "People love the social aspect of shopping, and I think brick-and-mortar is going to be around for a long, long time."

PREIT owns the Cherry Hill Mall.

Pa.'s King of Prussia Mall super busy for Black Friday 03:21

At the King of Prussia Mall, Beverly and her daughter and niece, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, have been coming to KOP annually on Black Friday for the past eight years.

"For me it's about tradition and family," Beverly said. "We have my niece sleep over, we come to the mall and we're here by 6 a.m., we shop 'till we drop and then we head home this afternoon."

The ladies hit Aerie first, and then Vineyard Vines to get a surprise for Beverly's son. Then Sephora and Dick's Sporting Goods.

"I'm only home for a couple days from college, so it's really fun to get to squeeze this in before I have to go back," Beverly's daughter said.

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