DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Andrew Torres and his friend, Justin Nye were among the less than a dozen people waiting in line on Black Friday.
"We were just like, why are we the only people here? And then we heard people were shopping online," Torres said.
Despite the unexpected turnout, Nye said they had a lot of fun while waiting before the break of dawn.
"It sounds kind of boring but it was lot more fun than you would expect," Nye said.
While shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend has become more of a hybrid event with people moving from online, to in stores and on their mobile devices, Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, according to the National Retail Federation.
"We know there is renewed interest in the store experience," senior director Katherine Cullen said. "Particularly around Black Friday this year. Of the 114.9 million potential Black Friday shoppers, 67% say they're planning to head in stores this year."
Bass Pro Shops was eager to welcome shoppers on Friday.
"Today is a good sign of it," a store manager said. "The day in, day out shopper is here today and they may have held back a couple weeks as they're waiting for the economy to kind of show different signs of life but today, I think whatever they thought was in the way, they pushed through it."
With inflation and rising costs on most consumers' minds, they're on the hunt for values and deals.
"We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "And retailers are ready to meet consumers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay."
Retailers keep with tradition-open early for Black Friday
Many retailers are once again opened their doors early for Black Friday shopping.
Triangle Town Center opened at 7 a.m. in Raleigh. Crabtree Valley Mall opened at 8 a.m.
In Durham, The Streets at Southpoint Mall opened at 9 a.m. In Fayetteville Cross Creek Mall opened at 7 a.m.
With inflation being so high this year, many are wondering if the higher prices will keep shoppers away on a big day for businesses. A new High Point University poll found 52% of North Carolinians surveyed are skipping out on Black Friday this year.
ABC 11 spoke with some people on Thanksgiving Day who were already out shopping.
They said they used to like the chaos that came with Black Friday shopping but so many stores carry their deals early.
Best Buy and many other retailers started offering holiday shopping deals as early as November 20.
Police warn if you're hunting down those Black Friday deals, be sure to keep safety in mind.