However, discounts still brought in early morning shoppers. “I’m trying to spend a little bit less because money is definitely a little tighter, but I like to get people what I think they’ll enjoy so I’ll probably end up spending as much anyway,” Kristina Morrison told NBC4 as she shopped at a Lakewood Target store. Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the Christmas season. That distinction goes to the Saturday before Christmas, when procrastinators finally turn out to buy last-minute gifts. The day after Thanksgiving earned the designation Black Friday because it helps retailers go into the black, the accounting term for profit. The frenzy surrounding Black Friday has prompted the Vancouver, British Columbia-based anti-consumerist group, the Adbusters Media Foundation, to declare today “Buy Nothing Day.” The self-described United Elves Guild of Greater Los Angeles will picket near the Farmer’s Market and The Grove on 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue to both promote “Buy Nothing Day” and the new anti-shopping documentary, “What Would Jesus Buy?” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsBusiness on Black Friday was a bit slower this year, said Jackie Fernandez, a retail partner with Deloitte & Touche, a international consulting firm which tracks holiday sales. A 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent sales increase is expected this year, compared to a 6 percent increase last year, Fernandez said. “Last year was very robust, this year it’s low, it’s not as crowded as it was last year,” she said. The sales increase will be the smallest since 2002, according to the Washington-based National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail association. The smaller increase is a result of the downturn in the real estate market, near-record gasoline prices and the recent Southern California wildfires, Fernandez said. Amid predictions of a smaller increase in sales than a year ago, shoppers rushed to Southland malls and stores today, taking advantage of discounts and incentives on what has been dubbed Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. “We had hundreds of people lined up,” said Janet LaFevre of the Glendale Galleria, where some stores opened at midnight. “It was a very festive mood. We had a singing Santa entertaining people and retailers brought out their A game for the holiday season this year.” Aeropostale, which opened at midnight, offered discounts of 50 percent until 11 a.m. Mervyns enticed early customers with $10 gift cards for the first 250 people in the store and a $10 reward card for every $50 spent between now and Sunday. Up to 10 percent of all shopping purchases is said to occur over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.