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US retail sales up at start of holiday season

New York, December 1, 2013

US shoppers visited more stores and spent more money at brick-and-mortar sites across Thanksgiving Day and "Black Friday" than they did in 2012 while online sales set records, data showed on Saturday.

When compared with Thanksgiving on Thursday and "Black Friday" last year, research firm ShopperTrak estimated that traffic at brick-and-mortar stores increased 2.8 per cent, to more than 1.07 billion store visits.

Retail sales increased by 2.3 per cent as shoppers spent an estimated total of $12.3 billion across the two days, ShopperTrak said in a statement.

Shoppers were drawn by deep discounts, promotions and extended store hours, it said.

Adobe Systems, which provides digital marketing tools, said its data showed record online sales for "Black Friday" and Thanksgiving at $1.93 billion and $1.062 billion, respectively.

Friday sales were up 39 per cent from the year before and rose 18 per cent for Thursday, it said in a statement. The Adobe analysis is based on 400 million visits to more than 2,000 U.S. retail websites over both days.

ShopperTrak said that for "Black Friday," brick-and-mortar shopper traffic fell 11.4 per cent and retail sales were down by 13.2 per cent.

"The Black Friday shopping experience is changing with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day," Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder, said in the statement.

Among the four regions in the United States, the West had the greatest increase in traffic and sales at 6.9 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively, according to ShopperTrak estimates.

The Northeast showed the only declines, with drops of 5 per cent in traffic and 7 per cent in sales.-Reuters




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