By Ty Russell

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida shoppers filled stores on Thanksgiving to get a head start on deals ahead of Black Friday.

Outside a Miami-Dade Brandsmart, there were a line of people waiting to get the best deals on televisions and appliances.

Meanwhile, Dolphin Mall opened the morning of Thanksgiving.

“I work here. Yes. It’s very crazy today,” Sara Anillo said.

Dolphin Mall has deals from Thanksgiving until Sunday night.

After Thanksgiving, more shoppers will be out for the holiday season. A study from NerdWallet shows 70-percent of Americans plan to shop alone on Black Friday.

One shopper believes battling the long lines for the deals saves money.

“Yes, a lot,” one shopper said.

Experts also say holiday shopping can lead to overspending. Among shoppers spending money nationwide, NerdWallet says a quarter are still paying off debt from last year’s purchases.

IBM, which monitors shopping, is forecasting sales will increase this year compared to last holiday season. Appliances, clothing, jewelry will be the key items to buy.

One shopper said Thanksgiving puts him in the giving spirit.

“It’s a special day. It’s supposed to be everyday– Thanksgiving. You have to give thanks every day. Not just one day,” Carlos Mejia said.

It’s no secret this is a crucial time for the retail industry. CNN reported is has already been a rough week for retail stocks. Some companies are worried the start of holiday shopping won’t give them that big boost to meet the year’s expectations.

CNN reports stores like JCPenny, Victoria’s Secret and Barnes and Noble saw sales fall last quarter.

For people who don’t want to wait in the long lines, they can easily make purchases online ahead of Cyber Monday.

Researchers with Adobe Analytics found close to $3 billion was spent online from Wednesday into Thursday morning.

Ty Russell

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