On a sunny Black Friday, the Friendship Heights shopping area is buzzing.
"We came out today to get some fresh air, enjoy the beautiful weather, and I'm a hands-on person," said Kellee Perkins of Chevy Chase, MD. "I like to pick things up, try things on so, I got a big ol' shopping bag here so this is just the beginning!"
With her kids Peri and Tripp in tow, Perkins traded online shopping for the in-person experience.
"They've been out of school all week, I've been working so this is our first day doing just some quality time," she said.
Perkins tells a story different from mass consumer data.
For the first time, the Retail Federation said the internet would be the top shopping destination this holiday season.
The survey shows 59 % of consumers this year plan to shop online this holiday season.
Anthony Simmons of Alexandria, Va., said it isn't one of him. "Most of the stores I shop at, I've been there before, so it's a good personal relationship with the person," he said.
His buddy, Louis Brown agrees.
"For me, it's the relationships," Brown said. "I come to a store all the time, they know what I like, so they're able to pull some stuff to the side."
Simmons, Band their other friend Benni Tolbert started shopping at 6 am, snagging sales and filling the trunk.
"The prices were much cheaper, they were 20, 30 percent off, you could get it online," Simmons said.
While hunting for a discount, Holly Idleson of Northwest DC and her daughter Claire Simon are making memories money can't buy.
"When I was little my mom used to take me here to shop because I grew up in this area, so it's a good tradition," Idleson said.
In the warm, fall sun, one thing came to light: No online deal can match the value of the human touch.
"It was a nice chance to do something the two of us," Idleson said.