Many Mexicans have adopted the American tradition of Black Friday and cross the border to go shopping, and so contribute to the regional economy.

The typical Mexican spends around $300 during a post-Thanksgiving shopping expedition to the United States, according to Alejandro Diaz Bautista, a researcher at Mexico's College of the Northern Border.

"Black Friday represents one of the most economically important days for the San Diego region because of the boost it gets from shoppers coming across the border," he said.

Thousands of residents of the Mexican state of Baja California start crossing the border very early in the day to take advantage of discounts that range from 20 to 80 percent.

Tom Fallon, manager of Las Americas mall just a few steps from the border, described this as the most important day of the year for sales.

"The market south of the border is extremely important - people from Mexico come to the shopping center non-stop, many arriving from the airport in Tijuana," he said.

Tijuana resident Cesar Montijo said he comes every year on Black Friday to buy Christmas presents.

"There's more movement going on now than last year - there are also good offers, we can take more stuff home for less money than last year," he said.

Raul Palacios, who was traveling with his wife, said they planned which stores to visit before they came.

"It's different every year, more people come here, store hours are longer and sometimes you really do find things cheaper. We planned which stores to see before we came."

Javier Gutierrez, a residente of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, said he happened to be in Tijuana on business and took the opportunity to come north and get to know this American tradition.

"The offers are really attractive. What I'm looking for above all are clothes for my family," he said. EFE