Shopping - it's the great American past-time...
And no single day is as important as Black Friday.
At this Best Buy in Midtown New York City, Alberto Canales found just what he was looking for.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): ALBERTO CANALES, U.S. SHOPPER, SAYING:
"I find actually a really good deal for the Apple ear pods. It's amazing. They got it discounted. I usually shop online but I just so happen to walk by and said 'you know I might as well get this now as opposed to waiting until it is sold out."
In-store traffic is far from the frenzied pace seen in years past, many shoppers are doing more of their holiday shopping online.
Black Friday alone is expected to rake in roughly $7-1/2 billion in online sales, according to data from Adobe Analytics, that's a more than 20 percent jump from last year. And VP of Commerce Jason Woosley says some of that is spilling over into in-store purchases.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JASON WOOSLEY, VP OF COMMERCE, ADOBE ANALYTICS, SAYING:
"We're still seeing a lot of buy-online, pick-up-in-store activity, whereas someone will make the purchase on their computer, come into the store to pick it up and the great thing there is that about 82 percent of customers who do that also purchase something else when they come into the store."
But still many are willing to go out on Black Friday - and it's no longer just an American phenomenon...
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): THEMBI NCUBE, CONSUMER, SOUTH AFRICA, SAYING:
"As you can see I came here at the middle of the night just to come and buy this microwave. So this is a special day for me."
In South Africa, the hunt for a good bargain is catching on...with a mob forming outside this Nike store in Johannesburg.
And in Germany, this woman is surprised by the crowd at an electronics retailer.
SOUNDBITE (GERMAN WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION): SUSANNE LAUFER, GERMAN SHOPPER, SAYING:
"It's the very first time I take part in this. I am completely shocked by what is going on here."
But not everyone is pleased with American-style consumerism spreading to other parts of the world.
In Spain - protesters organized by Greenpeace demonstrated against what they see as the environmental threat from a rise in global shopping.
And across France, a protest dubbed Block Friday prevented shoppers from getting into a shopping center....
And others took aim specifically at Amazon. There were protests outside the online retailer's headquarters - and a sit-in at an Amazon logistics center - blaming the company for harming the environment through rampant consumerism...
The kind that judging from the thinned-out crowds in the U.S. is moving online.