SARASOTA - Across America hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the malls to get their hands on some Black Friday deals. 

"We want to get the best deal and really it’s been hectic for the past few days but right now it seems like it’s going to be a good day,” said Black Friday shopper Scott Santana.

It’s the start of the Holiday season and hundreds of shoppers headed to the Mall at University Town Center to get their hands on those Black Friday deals. Marketing Director of the Mall at UTC Lauren Clark says the time to start holiday shopping is now. 

"With such a short season you’re going to want to shop early in the season," said Clark. "Don’t be caught here on Christmas Eve trying to find that perfect gift at the last minute at 3 o’clock when we close at 6 [p.m.] you’re going to be hectic and frantic at that point shop early that way you can enjoy the rest of your season.”

With several stores offering 50 percent or more off any item in the store, it’s easy to see why shoppers raced to get those must want items. Santana and his family waited for the doors at the Apple store to open and were determined to not leave empty handed.

"We’re in line for the IPhones, IPhones XR specifically, and that’s what we’re going to get and if we don’t – we have to get out of here with at least just one device,” said Santana.

Santana says he prefers to brave the Black Friday crowds at the mall to get those hot ticket items instead of waiting for the Cyber Monday deals.

"The rush of being here with everybody else and the fact that they have all the best stores here in this area," he said. "It’s better cause you go in the store you see whatever you want instead of going online and not even know what you can get.”

Clark says other popular deals that reeled in shoppers to the mall was Lululemon offering 50% off items, Victoria’s Secret BOGO buy one get one free deal, and Bath & Body Works buy three items get three free.

"So the one great thing about Black Friday is that not only do you have the huge national brands offering some of their best deals you’re going to get all season long," said Clark. "But also the small business are offering it, the online business are offering it so Black Friday is all inclusive of anything retail.”

And the shopping doesn’t stop here, the Mall at UTC will have extended hours all weekend long in case you missed out on those Black Friday Deals.  

"When you get to shop small on Saturday or Cyber Monday, it’s more targeted towards those online businesses," said Clark. "But what you’re going to find about Cyber Monday is that a lot of those in store deals are gonna match them.