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Retailers have a robust start to holiday season

November 28, 2011 • National News


FILE – In this Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 file photo, customers, showing up early to stand in line, are allowed into Target in Horn Lake, Miss. The official kickoff to the holiday shopping season underscored a big challenge to retailers: shoppers will only come out when they believe they’re getting a big discount. Stores’ own version of the Super Bowl got off to a robust start, helped by early store openings and heavy price cutting. But many analysts worry that the heavy marketing hype that pulled in the crowds will steal some thunder from the rest of the season. (AP photo/The Commercial Appeal. Stan Carroll, File)

More Americans hunted for bargains over the weekend than ever before as retailers lured them online and into stores with big discounts and an earlier-than-usual start to the holiday shopping season.

A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites during the four-day holiday weekend starting on Thanksgiving Day, up from 212 million last year, according to early estimates by The National Retail Federation released on Sunday. Americans spent more, too: The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 over the weekend, up from $365.34 a year ago.

Art and Anna Destrada from Port Chester, N. Y., were among the holiday shoppers. They started shopping on Thanksgiving evening at a Walmart store, went to various malls in New Jersey on Friday, and got some Login to read more

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