U.S. shoppers spent a little more than $59 billion over the Thanksgiving weekend, setting a record for the percentage of online purchases, according to figures compiled by the National Retail Federation.
Some 247 million people chose to go shopping on Black Friday, so named because it is the day on which retail sellers traditionally have expected to turn the corner in terms of sales and move into profits.
The number of total buyers rose 9 percent over 2011, while their average spending rose by 6 percent.
Over the four days of vacation that began with Thanksgiving Day, U.S. consumers spent an average of $423, compared with $398 in 2011.
The number of online buyers on Black Friday reached a record 89 million.
According to calculations by the Comscore consulting firm, for the first time Internet sales during the 24 hours of Black Friday exceeded $1 billion.
The buying and discount marathon is extending itself through so-called Cyber Monday with the proliferation of online deals.
Comscore expects that purchases on Cyber Monday will exceed $1.25 billion, a 20 percent increase with regard to 2011 and proof of the consolidation of e-purchasing in the United States. EFE