U.S. Post-Thanksgiving Shoppers Break Records

Posted November 27th, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. consumers spent their way to a new record in the days following the Thanksgiving holiday, giving retailers hope for better profits in a year of mostly gloomy economic news.

A retail federation survey Sunday said some 226 million people shopped in stores and on the internet, spending more than $52 billion, 16 percent more than last year at this time.

The National Retail Federation used actual sales figures from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and projected figures for Sunday. Included was the annual “Black Friday” bargain bonanza that kicks off the U.S. holiday shopping season.

On “Black Friday” — which falls the day after Thanksgiving each year — many stores open early and sharply discount high-priced items such as electronics and the latest new toys. The name refers to the practice of recording profits in black ink, with losses recorded in red.

“Cyber Monday” is next in line. It is a more recent innovation in which online retailers offer extreme discounts in the hopes of encouraging shoppers to buy more online.

So far this year, the numbers indicate internet shopping may be increasing even faster than shopping at traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores. An analysis by the digital monitoring group ComScore shows that U.S. consumers spent some $816 million at web sites on Black Friday, up 26 percent under $650 million the year before.