Shop Till You Drop

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They call it Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when all the Christmas sales begin.

In Meridian, thousands of shoppers hit the stores and the mall to find those great deals.

Nationally, retailers are keeping their fingers crossed they'll have a slight increase in sales from last year. If Friday was any indication, mall officials and retailers say this year will be a good one.

Shoppers packed the mall from early Friday morning when it opened, and despite a couple of lulls in activity.

One local retailer says he's happy so far with how things are going. A recent survey showed the average shopper will spend $650 on Christmas gifts this year.

That's up slightly from last year, and a good sign for merchants. Despite traditional wisdom, this is not the busiest shopping day of the year. That won't come until the weekend before Christmas.

But retailers say what happens between now and then will decide just how good this season is for them.