Black Friday sales set record

Black Friday set another sales record this year, with $52.4 billion of goods being purchased over the post-Thanksgiving sales weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

The average shopper also spent almost $35 more than last year - $398 vs. $365. An estimated 226 million people, another record, shopped either in stores or online this weekend.

"Stuffed to the brim from their holiday meals and eager to shop, more consumers than ever turned out for retailers' Black Friday promotions, a promising sign for the economic recovery," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. "After an historic holiday weekend, retailers know the holiday season is far from over and will continue to look for ways to excite holiday shoppers and build on the momentum we've seen thus far."

On Black Friday itself, retail tracking firm ShopperTrak estimated a 6.6 percent increase in sales over last year, or $11.4 billion, and a 5.1 percent increase in foot traffic.

"Despite our sluggish economy, shoppers proved they are looking for value and ready to buy if given a good customer experience," ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said in a statement. "This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak's National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006. Still, it's just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season."

Retailers rely on sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas for about 20 percent of their total sales each year, according to ShopperTrak.

In Carson City, some smaller businesses locally didn't see as much success as was being touted nationally - but they said they will probably push their weekend sales again next year.

"I didn't really do that great," said Guy A. Foster, owner of Carson Vacuum and Cleaning Products. "It just didn't really pull that much for me."

He advertised 20 percent off everything on Small Business Saturday, a national promotion for local businesses on the day after Black Friday. And while that didn't draw crowds, it didn't discourage him, either.

Foster said it was his first year, and he'll change it up for next year when he is more in the swing of it all.

Fran Hunter, store manager at Sierra Le Bone in Carson City, said her pet-supply business also did OK on its first post-Thanksgiving sale. She advertised deals on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday


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