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At Aventura Mall, Black Friday shoppers came looking for the deals

At Aventura Mall, shoppers are looking for the deals in a very different Black Friday year.

MIAMI, Fla. – Crystal Rouhani, the vice president of marketing for Aventura Mall, was upbeat on Black Friday, saying that experts in the industry predict sales will rise this year.

“ICSC, the International Council of Shopping Centers, expects sales to rise nearly 10 percent this year,” Rouhani said.

On Friday, a steady stream of shoppers walked through the Aventura Mall ready to take advantage of the sales leading up to the holiday.

One shopper we spoke with said she didn’t feel as if there were as many sales as she’s seen previously.

“Today’s Black Friday is a little less financially exciting. I don’t see as many deals as I have in past years,” she said.

[RELATED: Sawgrass Mills Mall buzzing with Black Friday shoppers]

We caught up with shoppers who set their alarms extra early to avoid the lines and some also with fears of low inventory.

Another shopper wanted to make sure he was first in line at the Apple store to get a new iPhone fearing that supply issues might cause him to miss out if he waited.

Black Friday sales in stores and online were up 12% by mid-morning, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending broadly across cards and cash. That was tracking below its 20% growth forecast for the day.

Overall holiday sales are expected to grow this year. For the November and December period, the National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, predicts that sales will increase between 8.5% and 10.5%. Holiday sales increased about 8% in 2020 when shoppers, locked down during the early part of the pandemic, spent their money on pajamas and home goods.

Experts believe Black Friday will again be the busiest shopping day this year.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.