TAMPA, Fla. -- For many families, Black Friday shopping has become a holiday tradition. The day after Thanksgiving remains a big sales day for retailers, but is the hype of it all starting to fade?
Plenty of Tampa area stores have a lot less crowds than in years past and for good reason.
For small business owners like, Jen Pearson this years Black Friday rush has been more like a slow drip.
"In years past, people would camp out for Black Friday specials. I honestly came up here at 5 a.m. thinking, well I'll bring them some hot coffee. The line was like nonexistent," Pearson told ABC Action News.
Her shop in Wesley Chapel didn't see any more business than on an average day. It's a trend also found at plenty of malls and big box stores as well.
"This year, we did notice that it's not as crowed," said shopper Alicia Charles.
"It was pretty easy. I was in and out of both stores in 10 minutes," shopper Vicky Irizarry told ABC Action News.
According to the National Retail Federation, the rise in popularity of "Small Business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday" has led to a dip in Black Friday participation. Sales dropped 11-percent last year.
USF marketing professor, Dip Biswas says the luster of Black Friday has been wearing off for years. Shoppers growing wise to great deals both in-stone and online throughout the year.
"Customers are much wiser now. If you jack up prices by 50-percent and then have a sale some customers might fall for that, but a lot of customers know it's not that great a deal," said Biswas.
Pearson says the reasoning is simple.
"Treating people fairly and being honest with them. This is what it costs and this is what you get it for. No gimmicks, no surprises," said Pearson.
One thing's for sure, retailers are hopeful a slow start doesn't lead to a dismal holiday shopping season.