Black Friday shoppers brave the crowds searching for deals in Cape Girardeau

Shoppers in Cape Girardeau wasted no time getting to the deals at West Park Mall.

Spirited shoppers went running, or power walking, in an effort to be one of the first to get their hands on some of the advertised best deals of the season.

For some, it's their first year in the mayhem, while others have it down to a science after years of experience.

"We've been doing this for like five years," Hali Sills said. "We get up at like 4:30, we go here then we go to Menards, then we go eat lunch O'Charley's, then we keep shopping until like 6 p.m."

"We didn't stand in line," Megan Tenkoff said. "We came through the back we came here first because there was no line here, we were going to go to Victoria's Secret, but there's a super long line and we don't wait in lines!"

West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau was one of dozens across the country that decided to keep their doors closed until Friday morning.

The mall's parent company CBL & Associates decided to close all 78 of their malls on Thanksgiving Day and reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

It's a decision many shoppers say they appreciated.

"That's what Thanksgiving is about," Tenkoff said. "'Not about shopping and spending money getting good deals and stuff then doing it on a holiday, you need to spend time with your family."

One noticeable change this year: less aggressive shoppers.

Retail experts said they noticed a calmer start to Black Friday than in years past.

Even though early reports show slower traffic in U.S. malls, this year's Black Friday sales are projected to be the biggest in history.

That comes as no surprise when you have loyal shoppers coming back for more every year.

"I was lets gooooooo! And here we are," Sills said.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.