Black Friday sales up in United States

Nov. 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Online Black Friday sales were up 20.7 percent this year compared to the day after Thanksgiving in 2011, IBM Smarter Commerce says.

Almost one out of five online shoppers purchased an Apple product, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services reported. About 10 percent purchased iPads and 8.7 percent iPhones, IBM said.

Another 5.5 percent bought Android-powered devices.

The National Retail Federation said the final results from its Black Friday survey will not be available until Sunday. Early results suggest a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales this year with a total of $586 billion for the season.

The federation's forecast model factors in unemployment, housing and sales in previous months.

Walmart reported its highest Black Friday sales ever despite protests at its stores across the country. The demonstrations, many of them organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers, were aimed at the company policy of beginning Black Friday sales Thursday evening at many stores, depriving employees of the holiday or part of it.

The company reported selling 1.3 million televisions and dolls and 250,000 bicycles.

"I'm so proud of what our more than 1.3 million associates have done to prepare and execute our Black Friday plans, giving our customers a great start to their Christmas shopping season," Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer, said. "The work of our associates is even more impressive when you consider they served approximately 22 million customers on Thursday."

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