LEESBURG (AFP): The traditionalists don’t like it, but the ‘Black Friday’ shopping frenzy is as much a part of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States as turkey and pumpkin pie. And it’s only Thursday. Americans will spend tens of billions of dollars over the four-day holiday and there was certainly no messing about at Leesburg Corner, a Virginia outlet center only a short drive from the US capital Washington.

There was hardly time for the roast turkey and stuffing to settle when most shops opened there on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for a 28-hour bonanza of breathless consumerism that was to stretch overnight and drag on nonstop until 10:00 pm Friday.