Black Friday Numbers Up

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The holiday shopping season got off to a strong start on Black
Friday, with retail sales up 7 percent over last year, according to
the most recent survey. Now stores just have to keep buyers coming
back without the promise of door-buster savings.

Buyers spent $11.4 billion at retail stores and malls, up nearly
$1 billion from last year, according to a Saturday report from
ShopperTrak. It was the largest amount ever spent on the day that
marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and the biggest
year-over-year increase since 2007. Chicago-based ShopperTrak
gathers data from 25,000 outlets across the U.S., including
individual stores and shopping centers.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. broke its Black Friday
record for shoppers, thanks to a decision to open at midnight for
the first time. Around 210,000 visitors came to the mall on Friday,
up from 200,000 last year, according to mall spokeswoman Bridget
Jewell.

Online shopping was strong as well, with a 24.3 percent increase
in online spending on Black Friday, according to IBM, which tracks
sales at 500 online retailers.

Last year, the Thanksgiving shopping weekend accounted for 12.1
percent of overall holiday sales. Black Friday made up about half
of that.


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