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The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that over the past Thanksgiving weekend in the US, the average shopper spent $265.15, bringing total weekend spending to $22.8 billion. – roughly 10 percent of total projected 2004 holiday sales.

Of those who shopped, many headed out on Friday (64.6%) but consumers were also shopping on Saturday (54.1%) and Sunday (25.3%). In addition, nine million people got a head start on the crowds by shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

According to an NRF survey, the majority of shoppers headed to discounters (61.8%) though department stores (44.3%) and specialty stores (40.5%) also saw strong traffic. As expected, online retailers also had a solid weekend, with nearly one in three consumers (29.3%) choosing to do some of their holiday shopping over the Internet.

Reuters noted in a separate report that “Black Friday used to be the biggest shopping day of the year, but now it competes with the Saturday before Christmas for top sales.” According to some data, Black Friday sales were up more than 10 percent over a year ago.

Not all the news was good, however. Wal-Mart – which several weeks ago said that for the first time it would not release specific Black Friday sales figures – announced that November same-store sales were up just 0.7 percent compared to last year, less than half the increase previously projected.
KC's View:
We have to admit that Mrs. Content Guy went out with a friend at 6:30 a.m. Friday, hoping to catch the early holiday sales at the mall.

As for us, we slept until about 8:30 a.m., then started the coffee, went for a jog, brought back doughnuts for the kids, then relaxed with the paper.

Who had the better Friday?

Despite her best efforts, though, we have to say that her experience runs contrary to another statistic generated by NRF – that as of yesterday, the average person has completed 36.8 percent of their holiday shopping, and that one in 12 consumers is completely done.

They’ve gotta be kidding.