Black Friday deals lure few early-morning U.S. shoppers, as consumers spent more than $1.5 billion online by Thanksgiving evening. Jillian Kitchener reports.
It was not even Black Friday yet and already Americans had spent over 1.5 billion dollars online by Thanksgiving evening-- a 16.8 percent jump over the same period last year. After two weak holiday seasons many retailers opened their doors early on the eve of the shopping holiday, like Macy's flagship store in New York City. But on Friday, the crowds were tame at stores across the U.S. Still, plenty of bargain hunters lined up - swarming into Best Buy stores like this one in Iowa. Others found deals on toys for their kids. SOUNDBITE: "I did good. It would normally be $700 but it was only four so I saved $300." Good deals were also found at home. Surging online sales have thinned crowds typically seen at stores on Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday, although analysts say this year a strong labor market, rising home prices and stock markets at record highs have improved shopper appetite. The National Retail Federation projects sales for November and December will rise 3.6 percent to 4 percent this year, versus a 4 percent increase last year. …a crucial time for retailers, as holiday spending can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales.