The International Council of Shopping Centers said receipts fell 2.8 percent in the week that included Black Friday, the national post-Thanksgiving sales event, so named because is seen as the traditional day in which retailers begin to make a profit on the year.
Sales declined week-to-week, but rose by 2.5 percent compared to the same week of 2012, the ICSC/Goldman Sachs weekly sales index found.
"Retailers certainly tried to entice consumers to shop this past week as they once again extended their hours and provided a number of door-busters on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday that lifted consumer traffic," said Michael Niemira, the council's vice president of research and chief economist.
U.S. consumers said in the weekly survey they had completed, on average, 37.3 percent of their holiday gift buying, "which means there is still a lot left to do over the upcoming weeks, and the early performance typically is no bellwether of the season as a whole," Niemira said in a statement.
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