For many Americans, the holiday shopping season began early this year. Traditionally, sales have begun on the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday. But stores and businesses have moved up the start of sales. Many retailers, eager to boost profits, opened on Thursday night this year. That drew protests from some workers and consumers. But it seems to have paid off.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shoppers hit stores and websites in record numbers over the Thanksgiving holiday. Spending during the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, which is 12.8% more than 2011 Thanksgiving sales.
That's encouraging for retailers, says Matthew Shay, who heads the NRF. "Retailers and consumers both won this weekend, especially on Thanksgiving," he said. If the record sales continue, that is good news for the U.S. economy. But is it good for Thanksgiving?
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