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Clint Engel

Black Friday drew 226 million shoppers, says NRF

WASHINGTON — A record 226 million consumers shopped stores and websites over Black Friday weekend and spent a record $52.4 billion, according a National Retail Federation survey.

The survey, conducted for the NRF by BIGresearch, did not break out the furniture category, but reported that 21.3% of consumers purchased home décor and home-related furnishings over the holiday weekend.

The bigger category winners were clothing or clothing accessories (bought by 51.4% of shoppers), toys, books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games, sporting goods and consumer electronics.

Black Friday weekend is defined as Thanksgiving through the following Sunday (with Sunday's results projected). The survey was conducted Thursday through Saturday be the research firm, which polled 3,826 consumers.

The number of shoppers was up from 212 million the year before. Shoppers spent an average of $398.62, according to the survey, up from $365.34 last year.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay called the results "a promising sign for the economic recovery.

"After an historic holiday weekend, retailers know the holiday season is far from over and will continue to look for ways to excite holiday shoppers and build on the momentum we've seen thus far," he said.

The survey also found more consumers lining up earlier at stores. Nearly a quarter of the shoppers polled said they were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, compared to 9.5% lined up by that time last year and 3.3% in 2009.

Consumers also were more apt to do some of their shopping via smartphone or tablet this year, the report said.

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