WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Early holiday spending is already up by 20% this year compared to last, and Americans are expected to shell out more than $8 billion as they shop.
Black Friday shoppers at the Jordan Creek Town Center searched for the best deals possible, some arriving at the mall by 6 a.m. Friday. Local 5's Laryssa Leone saw steady crowds during the day and spoke with General Manager Randy Tennison on how this year compared to last.
"So it was kind of a slower ramp up, but then once everybody got open, we saw traffic levels at or above 2018 and 2019," Tennison said.
Some of the more popular stores on Black Friday were Bath and Bodyworks, Scheels and Lululemon.
The crowds moved quickly through the shops.
"We're used to lines super long at checkout," said Maggie Miner, a shopper at Jordan Creek. "And obviously there are some, but not too long. Some stores are worse than others."
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rising activity in Iowa, safety measures at varied at Jordan Creek stores.
"Right now, COVID protocols are store-by-store, based on what their corporate offices are telling them to do," Tennison said. "Some of them are minimizing the number of customers that can be inside."
Besides standard COVID mitigation strategies, Tennison listed some additional safety tips for shoppers this season.
"When you're parking your car, be smart. Because you're going to buy stuff and it's going to be in your back seat," he said. "And you want to make sure that it's not visible for everybody. Put it in your trunk, that's going to be the best way to keep somebody from getting into your car [and] taking your product."
Of course, the big day for online holiday shopping is Cyber Monday. With more and more people shopping online, the Better Business Bureau has 12 scams this year that it wants shoppers to be aware of.
WATCH | How supply chain shortages could impact your holiday shopping