Shoppers in search of Black Friday bargains are packing stores all over the St. Louis area.

The rush began early Friday morning at West County Mall.

It's the most anticipated time of the holiday season for shoppers

"So far, I found some pretty good deals in Macy's and H&M, Now we're headed to J.C. Penney," said shopper Lanniece Jones.

This year, West County Mall closed for business on Thanksgiving. Staffers said they wanted to give employees a rest and make waking up early on Black Friday even more exciting for shoppers.

"I arrived here today at 6. a.m.," said Joy Hogan.

Hogan was among the first to arrive Friday morning. Six hours later, she was still at at it.

"I'm taking a rest right now, feet hurting," Hogan said.

Others weren't in a real rush to find a bargain.

"I'm not that shopper that gets out super early but I definitely enjoy shopping," Jones said.

She added that her Black Friday experience was a lot easier than in years past.

"Parking was a slight headache, but the lines in the store I think they're pretty well equipped with employees"

Customers agree Those long lines were mostly a problem in the stores with the best door-buster sales, like J.C. Penney, Bath and Body Works and H&M.

For some like Freddie Woodard, Black Friday is the best time to start getting into the Christmas spirit.

"When you have good family in your life you have to do things for them and it's to show them that I'm concerned about them and I love them," Woodard said.

With news extended hours for the holidays, West County Mall closes at 10 p.m.