Sales receipts came in ahead of the $41.2 billion consumers spent during the weekend in each of the past two years, The New York Times reported Monday.
It was estimated that 212 million consumers went shopping, compared to 195 million a year ago. In addition, consumers spent an average of $365, a 6 percent climb from a year ago, and online shopping, as a percentage of the Thursday through Sunday total, reached a record.
As encouraging as the numbers might seem, "it's important to keep the economy in mind here. Sometimes Black Friday is not an indicator of the holiday season, because people are so focused on deals that they'll get themselves up early," said Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation.
The federation said a third of the shopping was done online with Internet sales on Thanksgiving Day increasing 33 percent from the previous year. Coremetrics said online sales on Friday were 15.9 percent higher than a year ago.