HOUSTON - With many retailers opening their doors late Thursday to get an early start on the Black Friday rush, many shoppers found malls and parking less crowded on Friday.

Shoppers like Gavy Simon were surprised to find themselves moving around through stores and parking lots with ease.

I was expecting it to be more crowded, Simon said. Parking was really easy to find. I've been looking at my friends' Facebook statuses and everyone's been saying it's pretty empty.

Most expected to fight the crowds and to be stuck in line to make purchases.

It's not crowded at all, Allison Corley said.

When she went to the Walmart on Silber Road just before noon on Friday she found plenty of places to park.

I'm actually pretty surprised, Corley said. I actually expected Walmart, because it's got everything in it, to be packed. I actually expected the parking lot to be filled.

Since a majority of shoppers took advantage of stores opening early on Thursday, shoppers who waited until Friday benefited from less traffic.

All the people that stay up all night, they have already left, Stephaine Kiouses said. But people that, like are sleeping in and taking time off after Thanksgiving are not here yet. By Friday afternoon, the crowds were returning to Memorial City Mall.

It looks really busy and it's crowded, so I'm getting ready to get out, Irma Ortega said.

However, a lot of people left here with the impression they had gone shopping on an unusually slow Black Friday.

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