U.S. Consumers Spend Record Amounts Over Thanksgiving Weekend

U.S. consumers spent a record $52.4 billion over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation, up 16% compared to last year. The figures Thanksgiving Day, which saw 29 million shoppers, as well as Black Friday, when the NRF estimated that 86 million customers shopped online and in-store.

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According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday sales increased 6.6% over last year, with consumers spending roughly $11.4 billion on retail purchases — the biggest dollar amount ever spent on Black Friday. Retail foot-traffic was up 5.1% this year compared to last. The average shopper spent $398.62 over the weekend, up from $365.34 a year earlier.

Analysts are still awaiting the results of Cyber Monday, which online retailers like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) claim is their biggest business day of the year. Web sales on Black Friday rose 26% over last year to $816 million, and were up 18% to $479 million on Thanksgiving Day, according to Reston, Virginia-based research firm ComScore.

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Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a Swampscott, Massachusetts-based research firm, says that a “solid Black Friday suggests the rest of the season should be pretty good,” but those who disagree argue that consumers out shopping for deals over the weekend are unlikely to keep up that pace of spending throughout the holiday season. In fact, many Americans complete their holiday shopping on Black Friday.