Here are the holiday weekend shopping results for 2009:
Roughly 195 million consumers shopped in stores and online over the Black Friday weekend, up from 172 million last year, according to the National Retail Federation. But average spending dropped to $343.31 per person from $372.57 a year ago. Overall sales for the four-day weekend totaled $41.2 billion, up marginally from $41 billion last year, the NRF estimated.
....November sales were likely boosted by a spate of pre-Black Friday deals. Spending on Black Friday itself rose 0.5%, or $54 million, to $10.7 billion this year from last, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp.
Everyone is probably tired of hearing this from me, but as usual, these numbers are misleading because they aren't adjusted for inflation. CPI numbers for this month aren't in yet, but most likely the November-November inflation rate was about 2.0%, which means that sales volume was actually down 1.5% this year in real terms. That compares to an increase of about 2% last year in real terms.