WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The holiday shopping season is officially underway as Black Friday shoppers are out and about.

It’s a day some people wait for all year long, but this year, they didn’t have to. Shoppers used to line up and camp outside their favorite stores but now, many retailers have been offering deals for the past few days or even weeks.

An estimated 166.3 million people are planning to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. It’s almost 8 million more people than last year and is the highest estimate since the NRF began tracking this data in 2017.

One shopper told 12 News he was so excited to shop that he didn’t go to bed last night so he could get to the store at 3 a.m.

“I’m here with my friends, they kind of convinced me to do it, dragged me out early in the morning, but you see all the great deals, and for once take advantage and seize the day,” Adam Cavanaugh said.

The Warwick Mall wasn’t as busy as in past years, with a lot of people choosing to shop online rather than in person.

“The big thing this year nationwide is all the retailers really started their black Friday prices the first of November so what we have seen is a dramatic increase in shopping for the whole month,” Warwick Mall General Manager Domenic Schiavone said.

Shoppers are also counting on holiday discounts to provide some much-needed relief.

“I think when you look at inflation now as a college student, you hear a lot about how that’s going to impact our job market. So spending wisely and tightening the belt where you need to, but deals like these are definitely helpful and definitely make for great Christmas presents,” Cavanaugh explained.

Inflation has driven up the cost of all goods by 8% between September 2021 and September 2022.

“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Some of the top gifts this year according to the NRF are Legos, Barbie, Hot Wheels, toy cars/trucks, dolls, and Playsation.