Successful Black Friday weekend kicks off holiday season

(CBS News) NEW YORK - American retailers are hoping for strong sales this holiday season. Consumers are expected to spend nearly $750 on average this year. That's up nearly $9 over 2011.

So far, things have gotten to a strong start.

Black Friday weekend was a success by any measure. An estimated 89 million people were out shopping this weekend -- three million more than last year.

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Michael Gatti, Senior Vice President of the National Retail Federation, says shoppers spent more on gifts and on themselves.

"That adds up to about $59 billion in spending this year, compared to $52 billion last year," he said.

Michael Gatti, Senior Vice President of the National Retail Federation
Michael Gatti, Senior Vice President of the National Retail Federation.
CBS News

At every turn, retailers are fighting for a slice of the half trillion dollars in projected holiday spending this season, both in stores and on- line

Some people like the social aspect of being in the store with others," said Steve Krenzer, CEO of PriceGrabber.com. "Some people like to shop in their bunny slippers, so for some it's the anonymity and the convenience of doing it 24 hours a day from their own living room."

What's new this year: The explosions of shoppers -- on in four -- using mobile devices to find the best deals. That's nearly double than that of last year and a trend that's expected to continue.

"This a huge evolution we're seeing in the way customers shop," Gatti said, "and it's being brought on by mobile devices and this new technology that we've got."

Despite the Black Friday onslaught, expect Cyber Monday discounts to be very competitive.

"Cyber Monday is still relevant because we're expecting 129 million consumers to shop from their offices tomorrow," Gatti said.

But brick and mortar stores are fighting back. By Tuesday, Best Buy, Target, Toys "R" Us and others will match any online price in an effort to get customers to buy right now.

(CBS News' Jeff Glor reports on "Giving Tuesday")


  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.

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