(Updated with more analyst comments)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As Black Friday kicked off today, many shoppers were eagerly anticipating taking home their heavily-discounted prize gifts. Some had been lining up since the early hours of the morning to be first in line to grab early Christmas gifts and snap up the limited inventories available in-store. Meanwhile, all eyes in the financial community were carefully watching how retailers perform in their annual battle for their share of the consumer's wallet.
Traditionally Black Friday has been known as the "make or break" day for the retail industry, where the retailers finally turn a red loss into a black profit on their books. In recent years, though, the day's importance has waned slightly.
Regardless, key retailers, such as
(M - Get Report),
(JCP - Get Report),
(COST - Get Report) and others were offering doorbuster deals to lure customers into their stores.
>>Photo Gallery: Black Friday Madness
Some stores such as Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) and K-Mart, a subsidiary of Sears (SHLD - Get Report) were already open on Thanksgiving Day. Electronic goods were in prime demand, with Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) a key destination for the goods of electronic companies such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report) and Dell (DELL - Get Report) (See story: "Black Friday's 10 Top Tech Deals" By Scott Moritz -- for examples of top 10 tech deals).