Retailers cash in as bargain hunters hit Black Friday sales

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Hordes of shoppers are descending on stores to snap up the best deals of the year.

"I don't think the deals are that great but we're having fun," said Laura Fabrycki, who was shopping at the Clackamas Town Center on Friday.

"This is quite the experience," said Cathy Johnson, another shopper at the Clackamas Town Center. "We're zombies walking around. Very tired. With massive amounts of people here."

Black Friday, the day when retailers traditionally turn a profit for the year, actually got a jump start this year as many stores opened just as families were finishing up Thanksgiving dinner.

Stores are experimenting with ways to compete with online rivals like that can offer holiday shopping deals at any time and on any day. And this year, crowds gathered across the country as stores such as Target and Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving evening, while retailers from Macy's to Best Buy opened their doors at midnight on Black Friday.

Retailers are hoping that the earlier openings will help boost sales this holiday season. It is unclear how many shoppers took advantage of the earlier openings. But about 17 percent of shoppers said earlier this month that they planned to shop at stores that opened on Thanksgiving, according to an International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs survey.

Overall, it's estimated that sales on Black Friday will be up 3.8 percent to $11.4 billion this year.

KATU Reporter Lincoln Graves contributed to this report.