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Shoppers hit the stores for Black Friday deals

WEST HARTFORD -- The race is on for the best Black Friday deals at Westfarms Mall as the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is underway for another season.

The mall opened at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving and won't close until 10:00 p.m. Friday night which is perfectly fine with the thousand of shoppers taking advantage of the deals.

Pat Dady of Wallingford said she will shop for 10 or 12 hours today.

"It's a tradition that me and my girlfriend have had for the past 10 years, we get up early and get the deals."

Mall spokesperson Amanda Sirica said many stores have "50% off all merchandise" and the hot item so far is the XBOX 1S which is at the lowest price ever plus a free $25 gift card.

The Disney store is calling today "Magical Friday" and has 20% off the entire store until 10:00 a.m. along with rock-bottom prices on many popular gifts, including Toy Story items.

If you plan on shopping on Black Friday or during this holiday season, police warn you to be smart and lock your car and move all valuables including new purchases out of sight. You are encouraged to shop with family or friends as there is safety in numbers.  Limit the amount of cash you carry and report all suspicious activity to police or mall security.

Online shoppers should always keep usernames and passwords secure and never send personal information in emails that may ask you to verify. Also, save online receipts and check your bank account daily for any suspicious activity.

Target, which put its Black Friday deals online Wednesday, said it sold 3,200 televisions a minute during the first hour that doors were open. The retailer was offering a 50-inch Hisense 4K TV for $249.99.

The deals didn't last long at some stores. A Target in McAllen, Texas, quickly sold out of the Amazon Fire TV stick, on sale for $29.99. And at a nearby Walmart, the Nintendo 3DS, which was on sale for $99, was also reported out of stock.

At Macy's flagship store in Manhattan, 16,000 people were waiting outside an hour before it opened its doors on Thanksgiving, CEO Terry Lundgren told CNN's Brooke Baldwin. He added that fragrances, technology like the Apple Watch, and clothing are hot items this year.

"It's finally getting a little cold," he said. "It's been like a year since we've sold cold-weather apparel."

One thing shoppers won't find at Macy's: The Donald Trump line of menswear. Macy's dropped it last year, and Lundgren said Friday there are no plans to bring it back.

"You really cannot have the product of a political-oriented person in your store because 48% of the people aren't going to like that, right?" he said on CNN.

Macy's website was also popular on Black Friday. Some online shoppers were faced with a "temporary shopping jam!" notice when trying to access the site.

Many shoppers are choosing to skip the crowds and shop online. Shoppers spent $1.93 billion online on Thanksgiving Day, according to data from Adobe. Mobile shopping has also picked up steam, with $771 million coming from customers on their phones. The company forecasts that Black Friday online sales will hit $3.05 billion.

Target reported more than 60% of its online sales came from mobile customers, while Amazon reported mobile orders on Turkey Day exceeded Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year.

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but it has expanded in recent years.

Several stores this year hyped additional savings online, some of which have been available since early this month. Amazon launched a Black Friday Deals Store on Nov. 8. Stores like JCPenney and Kohl's began promoting Black Friday sales prices online earlier this week.

Americans have already spent $25.5 billion online this month, a 3.5% increase from last year, according to Adobe.

The top-selling items, Adobe says, include a slew of electronics and toys, like Samsung 4K TVs, iPads, and drones. The biggest discounts were for tablets, TVs and toys.

Some of the best-selling deals on Amazon so far on Friday are the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-functional Cooker, Hasbro's Pie Face Game and Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones.

While many stores opened on Thanksgiving this year, others held off on an early start. Mall of America suspended operations on the holiday. Only stores with exterior entrances were able to open on Thanksgiving Day.