Black Friday shopping chaos

Shopping mayhem around Tiffany's in New York City on last year's Black Friday. Photo: Getty Images

An astonishing number of shoppers could hit the malls and shops on Black Friday.

In fact, one retail watcher is projecting more than half the shoppers in America will be out at the crack of dawn (or before) to get the best deals of the holiday shopping season. But that doesn't mean they'll be spending more money -- they're looking for deals.

"It's very likely that for the first time in my lifetime, half of America will get up before 4 o'clock [am] to get the very best deals of the season," Britt Beemer, CEO, America's Research Group told StyleList.

Beemer said consumers are shopping more "weekend events," i.e. Labor, Memorial of Presidents' Day weekend sales, than ever before. "Five years ago, 61 percent said a weekend event would drive them to shop. Today, that number is 84 percent," Beemer said. And there's an average of 10 percent more shoppers turning out at these event sales so far this year.

It's good news for retailers that Black Friday is expected to be so well-shopped, but Beemer said consumers are shopping smarter. Whereas in the past, they would come for the deal and fill up their carts, these days, consumers are just taking the deal and nothing else. "Consumers are all deal driven," he added.

And while surveys show that apparel items are always the top gift items, the best, traffic-driving sales are electronics. In fact, Beemer's top three Black Friday sale items were projected to be 42-inch, 40-inch and 32-inch flat panel televisions.

In related shopping news, find out which luxury brand recently won a large settlement against Burlington Coat Factory for "willful counterfeiting."