23 November 2012
Last updated at 17:18
US shoppers storm Macy's, New York, as the sales begin on Black Friday, usually the busiest shopping day of the year and the start of the holiday shopping season.
Brick-and-mortar stores can make 40% of annual revenue in November and December, but they face mounting competition from online retailers.
With the economy fragile, many shops opened doors on Thursday night. There were long queues, like this one outside a branch of Target in Burbank, California.
And more queues beckoned inside. As well as expanding their hours, many stores are offering free shipping, while matching online rivals' cheaper prices.
Some retailers were prepared to try any gimmick to woo bargain-hunters, such as this lifeguard model at a fashion store in Glendale, California.
Retailers fear consumers won't spend amid lingering high unemployment. But this mother and daughter, at least, were doing their bit for the American economy.
For some - such as Jasmine Britton, 18, at a shopping centre in Cerritos, California - it was literally a case of shop till your drop.
A union-backed group of former and current Walmart staff staged protests at stores across the US on Friday, to demand better wages, benefits and conditions.
Nearly 150 million people, almost half the population of the US, are projected to hit the shops in search of discounts this weekend.