More Americans hunted for bargains over the weekend than ever before as retailers lured them online and into stores with big discounts and an earlier-than-usual start to the holiday shopping season.
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, according to early estimates by The National Retail Federation released on Sunday. Americans spent more, too: The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 over the weekend, up from $365.34 a year ago.
Overall, holiday spending is expected to grow by a modest 2.8 percent to about $466 billion, according to the NRF.
A fuller picture on spending will come Thursday when major retailers report their November sales figures.
But for now, experts agree that retailers will likely have to continue to discount to get shoppers to spend.