WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Black Friday, and for many, it’s the kick off to the holiday shopping season.

Many stores are opening early across western Massachusetts expecting a surge of local shoppers looking to get their Christmas list items and the rain on Friday morning did not stop people from lining up.

“I’m starting the Christmas season, this is a tradition I’ve done for the last 15 years, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without Black Friday,” said Tracey Malley of Holyoke, who came to do some shopping at the Riverdale Plaza.

And whether you are coming to places like Kohl’s in the Riverdale Plaza or shopping anywhere else in western Massachusetts experts are expecting record breaking numbers. This holiday shopping season Americans plan to spend 859 billion-dollars on gifts and beyond.

“It just the start of the season even though I have most of my Christmas shopping done it’s nice to be out and about and spending quality time together and it’s tradition,” said Ashley Richards of Amherst.

Many shoppers are expected to try to beat the December shopping rush and online shop. Which is an expected 10% increase compared to last year. It is also expected that shoppers from high-income households will spend five times more than lower-income households this season.

This upcoming Saturday is Small Business Saturday, so if you can shop locally. Retail experts say that it is more important than ever to shop small, so don’t forget to support your local small businesses.