NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Consumers came out in droves to shop for deals on Thanksgiving night and on Black Friday.
Macy's (M) opened for the first time on Thanksgiving. CEO Terry Lundgren in an interview with TheStreet said that 15,000 shoppers were waiting to enter its flagship store in Manhattan just before opening at 8pm.
"That's compared to 11,000 at midnight the year before so obviously customers were demanding that we open early," Lundgren said.
Sales were continuing into Friday.
"Black Friday will be the single largest day of the retail year -- certainly in the case of Macy's," he said. "We'll do more business on this day than on any other day of the year."
This year, more than ever, the six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are forcing customers into stores earlier. "Customers are figuring that out ... that's why I think it's going to be another record-breaking day for us," Lundgren says.
Elsewhere, not surprisingly, Apple (AAPL) products were flying off the shelves and online. A quick look on several retailers' Web sites, including Best Buy (BBY), Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Target (TGT), showed the Apple iPad Air, as well the iPhone 5C and 5S, were mostly sold out by Friday morning.
Wal-Mart said early Friday that Thanksgiving top sellers, in stores and online, included big screen TVs, iPad minis, laptops, XBOX One and PlayStation 4.
Wal-Mart said 22 million customers shopped on Thanksgiving last year. The discount retailer opened its doors even earlier this year at 6pm. The company said more than 1 million customers took advantage of Wal-Mart's One-Hour Guarantee events; Wal-Mart processed more than 10 million store register transactions from 6pm to 10pm; Walmart.com processed nearly 400 million page views on Thanksgiving Day.