By 9 a.m., crowds at the Mall of New Hampshire had diminished to resembling a normal shopping day. (JAY REITER/Union Leader)
MANCHESTER - Kim Lacroix of Manchester kept checking her list as she loaded toys into her cart at Toys-R-Us as the frenzy of Black Friday wore down Friday night.
"It's been easy," she said of the shopping.
Retailers gave mixed reactions to how well they fared on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally is the start of the Christmas shopping season and is so named because it is the day retailers hope will get them into black, or profitable, numbers.
Tasha Isabelle, a manager at Old Navy at the Mall of New Hamphsire, which had been open since midnight Thursday, said business this year seemed slower than last year.
"There's definitely less people in the store," she said. "It feels a little bit slower than past years because there aren't as many people in the store."
But Josh Heinzl, owner of Josh's Toys at the mall, called Black Friday 2012 his best year since he opened his first of four toy stores four years ago.
"It's going really well," he said Friday night. "This is our best (year)."
The mall anticipates a good holiday shopping season, said Rebecca Murphy, the mall's director of marketing, though she said Friday night that no sales figures were available.
"We are very optimistic the holiday season is going to go very well this year," she said.
The lines for Black Friday deals started as early as Wednesday night, when Chuck Handy of Derry camped outside of Best Buy to be the first in line for deals when the electronics store opened at midnight Thursday.
Best Buy sales manager Lou Hindle said Friday night that the store stayed packed with customers Friday.
"The whole store is still jamming," he said. "I would say it's been a successful day so far."
Not everyone decided to get up early to do some shopping, though. Tiesha Burton of Boston, who said she is visiting family in New Hampshire, said she was just starting her shopping at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"I'm probably not going to leave for the next two hours," she said.