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Record number of shoppers turn out for Black Friday, total spending up to $59.1 billion

By Daniel S Levine,

Hollywood wasn’t the only business to take full advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday. It was another huge weekend for retail, with a record number of shoppers turning out to take advantage of early sales. Total spending by the American shopper was also up, reaching $59.1 billion.

In a report released Sunday, the National Retail Federation found that 247 million shoppers visited stores over the Black Friday weekend. That’s up from the 226 million who turned out last year. The average shopper also spent $423, which was also up from the $398 last year.

The number of shoppers who lined up to be at midnight openings was also up to 28 percent, compared to last year’s 24.4 percent.

Shoppers also turned out in record numbers online, spending over $1 billion over the weekend, according to comScore, reports NBC News.

The NRF found that the average shopper spent $172.42 online, making up 40.7 percent of their total spending. The organization found that eight in 10 shoppers also bought items for themselves.

“There’s no question that millions of people were drawn to retailers’ aggressive online promotions this weekend, making sure to research and compare prices days in advance to ensure they were getting the best deal they could,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow in a statement. “However, with shopper traffic increasing at department, discount, and clothing stores over the weekend, it’s clear that consumers still recognize Black Friday as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, as they have for decades.”

Monday is poised to be another big day online, with Cyber Monday sales starting.

The Black Friday numbers were actually higher than expected. CNN notes that the NRF predicted that the “fiscal cliff” might scare away consumers and spending would only grow 4.1 percent.

 
 

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