Hudson Valley shoppers hunt for bargains on Black Friday

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Many Hudson Valley residents were out early Friday morning looking for big holiday bargains.

Some shoppers didn't wait for Black Friday to officially begin going after deals.

MORE: Black Friday 2019 Deals | Holiday shopping tips: 9 tips to prevent porch pirate thefts

Yonkers residents gathered outside of Best Buy for the pre-Black Friday sale Thursday evening. Some waiting for hours in the cold.

Police are urging shoppers to be vigilant this holiday season.

Authorities are asking shoppers to be sure to park in well-lit areas. Never leave the store with your arms full of packages.

They also suggest that you have your car key in hand, ready to unlock your door.

And be aware of distraction type crimes - that typically occur during this time of the year.

Police say they are stepping up patrols at malls and shopping areas.

With six fewer shopping days than last year, it will be the shortest season since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November - the latest possible date it could be. That means customers will have less time to shop and retailers will have less time to woo them.

Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from a shortened season. Still, it expects online sales will reach $143.7 billion, up 14.1% from last year's holiday season.

The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, forecasts that holiday sales will rise between 3.8% and 4.2%, an increase from the disappointing 2.1% growth seen in the November and December 2018 period that came well short of the group's prediction.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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