UNDATED (AP) - More Americans than ever before took the Black Friday bait of big discounts and earlier-than-usual store openings. 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.
The National Retail Federation says the average holiday shopper spent $398.62, up from $365.34 a year ago.
A fuller picture will come Thursday when major retailers report their November sales figures.
The data gathering firm ShopperTrak reports Black Friday sales were $11.4 billion, up 7 percent from the same day last year. It was the biggest year-over-year increase since 2007.
Online shopping on Black Friday was especially strong with consumers apparently not waiting until Cyber Monday.