"I was really surprised at the number of people. I'm very, very pleased this year," he said.
About a thousand people were at the mall when stores opened at 7 a.m., he said.
"We got here (Valley Mall) around 9:30. We were late," said Pat Campbell of Hedgesville, W.Va.
Campbell and her two sisters, Shirley Mose of Charles Town, W.Va., and Dolores Bowers of Martinsburg, W.Va., were taking a quick break before their daughters returned to meet them for lunch. This was the second year in a row the three sisters ventured out together on Black Friday.
"We're really enjoying this," Mose said.
"It gives us a chance to get together. We shop and talk a lot and catch up," Bowers added.
Valley Mall's parking lot was full by mid-morning and latecomers meandered through the rows of parked vehicles hoping to find a space close to the building. Several drivers ended up dropping their impatient passengers off in front, banished to find a space on their own.
Traffic also was brisk at the Martinsburg (W.Va.) Mall, said Marketing Director Elaine Bobo.
Shoppers must have been finding what they were looking for because they were in good spirits and carried lots of packages, Bobo said.
"I didn't run into one angry customer this morning and that's really strange," Formosa said.
Inside the malls, people sorted through stacks of sweaters and rows of gloves, most marked down from regular prices, while lines formed at cash registers. Some mothers opted to carry their children while pushing strollers filled with bags and packages.
"It's going fine but it's busy," said Horace Harris, director of public safety at Valley Mall, who was on patrol. Anticipating large crowds, Harris said he doubled security in the mall and parking area on Friday and through the weekend.
Formosa said Black Friday turnout was higher this year because Franklin County's unemployment rate is low. Also, more people might be feeling pressure as Christmas approaches.
"I think people are realizing we have a shorter shopping season," he said. Thanksgiving arrived about a week later than usual.
Though malls were busy and crowded Friday, store managers in downtown Hagerstown reported sluggish sales.
"It's a little bit slow as compared to last year," said Vishwa Nikore, owner of Nik's Gallery, a variety store on Washington Street.
Nikore opened a half hour earlier and extended his evening hours in hopes of attracting more business. But as of mid-afternoon, only a few people had ventured in.
Just down the street at McCrory's, a manager said business was no different than an average Friday.