U.S. retail sales up at start of holiday season: data

Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:55pm EST

People shop at a Target store during Black Friday sales in the Brooklyn borough of New York, November 29, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

People shop at a Target store during Black Friday sales in the Brooklyn borough of New York, November 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

(Reuters) - U.S. shoppers visited more stores and spent more money at brick-and-mortar sites across Thanksgiving Day and "Black Friday" than they did in 2012 while online sales set records, data showed on Saturday.

When compared with Thanksgiving on Thursday and "Black Friday" last year, research firm ShopperTrak estimated that traffic at brick-and-mortar stores increased 2.8 percent, to more than 1.07 billion store visits.

Retail sales increased by 2.3 percent as shoppers spent an estimated total of $12.3 billion across the two days, ShopperTrak said in a statement.

Shoppers were drawn by deep discounts, promotions and extended store hours, it said.

Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE.O), which provides digital marketing tools, said its data showed record online sales for "Black Friday" and Thanksgiving at $1.93 billion and $1.062 billion, respectively.

Friday sales were up 39 percent from the year before and rose 18 percent for Thursday, it said in a statement. The Adobe analysis is based on 400 million visits to more than 2,000 U.S. retail websites over both days.

ShopperTrak said that for "Black Friday," brick-and-mortar shopper traffic fell 11.4 percent and retail sales were down by 13.2 percent.

"The Black Friday shopping experience is changing with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day," Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder, said in the statement.

Among the four regions in the United States, the West had the greatest increase in traffic and sales at 6.9 percent and 6 percent, respectively, according to ShopperTrak estimates.

The Northeast showed the only declines, with drops of 5 percent in traffic and 7 percent in sales.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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