Millions of shoppers flocked retail outlets, malls and other stores late Thursday night through midnight on Black Friday to capitalize discounts on toys, laptops, tablets, apparel, and other merchandise.

Washington DC-based retail trade association, National Retail Federation (NRF), expects the retail industry sales during Thanksgiving would jump 4.1% this year to $586bn.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said Thanksgiving Day shopping is quickly becoming a holiday tradition for millions of Americans.

"Steady streams of shoppers have already flooded outlets, malls and other stores throughout the country and shopped online from the convenience of their couch to kick off the holiday season; it’s evident retailers’ promotions have really struck a chord with those looking for the perfect gift – either for themselves or for others, " Shay added.

The agency noted that during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, shoppers spending has increased over previous years by 13%.

Online shopping on Black Friday rose 26 % to exceed $1bn for the first time, according to the data released by the research firm ComScore.