Black Friday 2010: Bigger, Badder, Bolder

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A Target store employee directs shoppers on Black Friday

Adam Hunger/Reuters

It’s the most awesome day in the history of the world. Well, since Black Friday 2009. But all NewsFeed wants to know is: what deals have been found (and is the economy going to see a revival?)

Two words, people: toys and electronics. These are the kind of goods that will surely kick-start the sales season and provide some much-needed cheer for the American economy. “We had the best turnout yet. We had an estimated 1,800 people waiting to get in at midnight,” Nick Nicolosi, general manager of the North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Ga., told CNNMoney.

(See TIME’s holiday shopping guide.)

Nicolosi said that midnight shoppers went straight for the likes of the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii as well as that old faithful, Apple, thanks to the iPad and iPod accessories.

No such tradition as actually waiting for Friday when it comes to the good folk at Toys R Us. For the first time in its history, all stores opened at 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving instead of midnight. CEO Gerald Storch has, “been getting reports from all over the country and the lines have anywhere from between 500 to 1,000 people at every Toys R Us store nationwide.” And what’s flying off the shelves? Gaming consoles, electronic toys, dolls and and boys action figures. ‘Twas ever thus.

(See TIME’s tech buyers’ guide.)

Wal-Mart opened all of its more than 4,000 stores at midnight as customers sought HDTVs, GPS devices, laptops, toys and clothing. Wal-Mart isn’t messing around either, vowing to match a competitor’s lower price on any identical product.

Significantly, sales are expected to increase 2.3% in 2010, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s a considerable rise from last year’s 0.4% gain and a complete turnaround from a 3.9% sales decline in 2008. But remember: be careful out there and treat your fellow shoppers with courtesy, politeness and respect (unless the Emerson flatscreen TV is up for grabs in which case all bets are off.)