Mall of America says 2,500 people were in line

Bloomington, UNITED STATES: A sign at the Mall of America is pictured 02 February 2006 in Bloomington, Minnesota. The largest in the US with more than 40 million visitors a years, the Mall of America has become one of the biggest tourist attractioins in the country. AFP PHOTO/Timo GANS

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Mall of America in Minnesota says that 2,500 people were in line at the 5 a.m. opening Friday, in line with a year ago. Shoppers started queuing up as early as 5:45 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Jill Renslow, Mall of America’s executive vice president of business development, said that stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Best Buy were crowded. She said the items that caught shoppers’ attention included were voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo, nostalgic toys, clothing and shoes.

Like other shopping centers, the mall has been fighting online buying by integrating technology with the shopping experience. Shoppers can now reserve a premium parking space on an app before heading to the mall. Renslow says more than 60 of the 500-plus stores now allow shoppers to order online and pick up the goods at the mall. That’s a big increase from a year ago.