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Holiday shopping season off to record start

November 26, 2012 • National News


FILE -In this Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, file photo, Black Friday shoppers pour into the Valley River Center mall for the Midnight Madness sale, in Eugene, Ore. U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday. They were attracted by retailers’ efforts to make shopping easier, including opening stores on Thanksgiving evening, updating mobile shopping applications for smartphones and tablets, and expanding shipping and layaway options. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Brian Davies)

NEW YORK (AP) — If you make holiday shopping convenient, Americans will come in droves.

It’s estimated that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday. They were attracted by retailers’ efforts to make shopping easier, including opening stores on Thanksgiving evening, updating mobile shopping applications for smartphones and tablets, and expanding shipping and layaway options.

All told, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend starting on Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent of last year, according to a survey of 4,000 shoppers that was conducted by research firm BIGinsight for the trade group. Americans spent more too: The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011.

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