Large discounts were dangled in front of consumers by retailers to start Black Friday at stores early Friday morning after being offered online Thursday.

A high stakes battle between brick and mortar retailers and and other online retailers is taking place as all are trying to get their piece of the holiday shopping season pie that started in earnest only hours ago.

Millions of people in the U.S. left their family members on Thanksgiving Day to visit shopping centers and malls often armed with smartphones to check out prices and buy products that were drastically reduced in price.

On Thanksgiving, Brian Cornell the CEO at Target Corp. said that he was encouraged by shopper’s initial response particularly when it came to toys and products made by Apple.

He added that the hoverboards offered online sold out early and that a $10 giant teddy bear was hugely successful in sales.

For the brick and mortar retailers, a challenge remains to draw additional shoppers into stores on a day that is chaotic and marred by lines that often times are far too long for many and parking lots that are beyond full.

In 2015, more people stayed at home to shop online than went to stores over the four-day Thanksgiving Day weekend, according to data released by the National Retail Federation.

Shopping online was setting a pace to pass $1 billion Thanksgiving Day, which was up by 14% from 2015, according to a company online that tracks e-commerce site visits.

However, gains in revenue remained muted by the dramatic discounts, especially on different electronics.

Tablets were being discounted by an average of more than 25% on Thursday in comparison to last year when they were discounted just 12%.

At one Walmart location in the nation’s capital, many shoppers on Thursday night said they often make online purchases but had been motivated to come out to the store due to one specific sale or to pass time shopping between events taking place on Thanksgiving.

Across the retail industry, advertisements were being released of the biggest bargains two to three days earlier in 2016 than last year, showed a report released by an online company that tracks retail and social media sites amongst others.

Email volumes by retailers sent out to customers who had opted to receive them were up 15% between October 1 and November 19, in comparison with that same period one year ago.