It's still early, but Michigan Avenue retailers appear to have kicked off the Christmas season on a positive note.
According to the executive director of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, stores are pacing ahead of last year's Black Friday sales, some reporting double-digit increases.
The downside for customers? Many of those desirable items are selling out fast.
"I was here at 3 o'clock this morning and they were sold out before I could get to work," a Sears shopper said Friday.
The Chicago Tribunepointed to a survey from market research firm NPD Group that showed two out of three shoppers on Black Friday hadn't shopped all year and used the post-Thanksgiving Day derby as an excuse to spend.
"We've seen the return of the consumer to some degree," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group. "The biggest surprise is that consumers are willing to buy for themselves. That was the missing link. That was lost last holiday."
Many stores are continuing their sales throughout the weekend.