Best Buy looks like it's crushing Black Friday as hundreds of people flood stores — but it may not be everything it seems

  • Hundreds of people are lining up to get into Best Buy locations across the US for Black Friday sales. Photos of its lines have been the most impressive ones we've seen so far online.
  • The sales begin Thursday evening and continue late into the night.
  • However, in 2017, convincing people to show up in stores doesn't necessarily guarantee a successful holiday shopping season because Americans plan to spend more money online than in stores.
  • Here's a look at the crowds of holiday shoppers. 

Scrolling through social media, the early winner of Black Friday 2017 looks clear — but the truth may be more complicated. 

Best Buy locations have been overwhelmed with crowds of shoppers, eager to kick off Black Friday sales at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 

Still, in 2017, lines don't necessarily mean Black Friday success, as more Americans than ever before turn to online shopping.

Best Buy kicked off Black Friday sales at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year. Stores close at 1 a.m. and reopen at 8 a.m. on Black Friday.

Here's a look at some of the longest Best Buy lines across the country.

22 PHOTOS
Hundreds flood to Best Buy stores for Black Friday sales
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Hundreds flood to Best Buy stores for Black Friday sales
Just looking for a DVD . . . . #bestbuy #blackfriday #thanksgiving #line #waiting #dvd
800+ Shoppers lined up outside of Best Buy in Irving. #BlackFriday https://t.co/9FkEAupCkk
Yeah we ready! We're the capitalists that cause Black Friday. #BestBuy #BlackFriday
Part 2 and an old yg kid! - #Target #BlackFriday
#bestbuy #blackfriday2017 line 😱... very #hopeful 😳 #bestbuy #elektronik mağazasında #karacuma #alışveriş kuyruğu ... eminim ki hedeflerimizi alacağız 😂
At 3:20, this is how long the line is at Best Buy in Mishawaka. Doors open at 5 for Black Friday deals. @ABC57News https://t.co/VgOUxv2WkP
The line outside Best Buy in Wyomissing began forming more than 12 hours before the 5 p.m. opening on Thanksgiving. Why? Many people say they want to get their hands on a $179 big-screen TV. #Thanksgiving #BlackFriday #Christmas #BestBuy #shopping #deals #sale #retail #Wyomissing #BerksCounty #69News #WFMZ
The line @bestbuy for Dark Thursday... #thanksgiving #bestbuy #shopping
Thanksgiving Best Buy line is intense. Wraps around three sides of the building. Seeing what deals the fam gets since I don’t like to spend money without a job. • • • • #brokelife #jobsearch #bestbuy #thanksgivingsale #deals #dealsandsteals #livethelife #lines #standing #starbucksfund #igorlando #wintergarden #veteran #happyholidays
This is the beginning (left) and end (right) of the line of Black Friday shoppers at the Best Buy in Fayetteville.… https://t.co/02UkmeXPX9
Hundreds of people are lined up at Best Buy in Topeka for Black Friday deals. The most popular item? A 50" Smart TV… https://t.co/qzekGcK6H0
Black Friday shopping is in full swing at Best Buy. https://t.co/KWcxJ6Fa7D
People wait in line outside of Best Buy in Norwalk Connecticut November 23, 2017 for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait in line outside of Best Buy in Norwalk Connecticut November 23, 2017 for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait in line outside of Best Buy in Norwalk Connecticut November 23, 2017 for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait in line outside of Best Buy in Norwalk, Connecticut November 23, 2017 for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait in line outside of Best Buy in Norwalk, Connecticut November 23, 2017 for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Shoppers leave with television sets at Best Buy in Norwalk, Connecticut, November 23,2017 after waiting for hours in the cold for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Shoppers leave with television sets at Best Buy in Norwalk, Connecticut, November 23,2017 after waiting for hours in the cold for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Shoppers leave with television sets at Best Buy in Norwalk, Connecticut, November 23,2017 after waiting for hours in the cold for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Shoppers leave with television sets at Best Buy in Norwalk, Connecticut, November 23,2017 after waiting for hours in the cold for the store to open at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. As the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, retailers try their best to attract customers in the face of exploding e-commerce. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Customers' willingness to camp out for Black Friday has long been a holiday shopping tradition — and a bellwether of a retailer's financial success in the final quarter of the year.

However, as online sales grow, people's willingness to show up for Black Friday sales has become less crucial for retailers. Online shopping means that customers can avoid crowds, and retailers don't have to deal with safety concerns that hordes of shoppers can bring.

For the first time, Americans plan to spend more money online than in stores this holiday season, according to Deloitte's survey of more than 4,000 Americans.

So, a long line doesn't necessarily mean a retailer is primed for a successful holiday season. Last week, Best Buy cut its forecast for the fourth quarter. The retailer has struggled to keep up as e-commerce rivals like Amazon slash prices on tech.

Best Buy isn't the only retailer with crowds this Black Friday — through photos of its lines have been the most impressive ones we've seen so far online. 

The things I do for Christmas #blackfriday #target #thisline

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While we spotted a few lines at some Target locations, others seem to be almost eerily empty.

This year Walmart ditched the wristbands it gave to early shoppers in years past.

According to the company, it is confident that it will have plenty of stock for shoppers when they come in. The store is also heavily promoting its online pick up service, which can help streamline the shopping experience.

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