New Jersey shoppers hunt for bargains on Black Friday

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Many New Jersey residents were out early Friday morning looking for big holiday bargains.

Many people tell News 12 New Jersey that Black Friday isn't what it used to be - now that stores open on Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday has become popular.

"Everything is like a week of Black Friday so nobody's rushing," said Jamie White of West Caldwell.

Some people traveled in groups and say they look forward to it all year long. They say they've witnessed how Black Friday has changed.

"I miss the thrill," says Kim Scarano of Belleville. "I missed getting something when someone else wanted it and I get it first even if I didn't need it."

MORE: Black Friday 2019 Deals | Holiday shopping tips: 9 tips to prevent porch pirate thefts

With six fewer shopping days than last year, it will be the shortest season since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November - the latest possible date it could be. That means customers will have less time to shop and retailers will have less time to woo them.

Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from a shortened season. Still, it expects online sales will reach $143.7 billion, up 14.1% from last year's holiday season.

The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, forecasts that holiday sales will rise between 3.8% and 4.2%, an increase from the disappointing 2.1% growth seen in the November and December 2018 period that came well short of the group's prediction.

Police are urging shoppers to be vigilant this holiday season.

Authorities are asking shoppers to be sure to park in well-lit areas. Never leave the store with your arms full of packages.

They also suggest that you have your car key in hand, ready to unlock your door.

And be aware of distraction-type crimes that typically occur during this time of the year.

Police say they are stepping up patrols at malls and shopping areas.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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