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The Journal Gazette

November 29, 2016 1:02 AM

Less spent on Black Friday

Bloomberg

Thrifty U.S. consumers carefully picked over Black Friday discounts during the four-day weekend, leaving retailers with less money in their registers and a lukewarm kickoff to the holiday season.

Though the number of shoppers grew over the weekend, the average amount they spent fell 3.5 percent to $289.19, including both online and offline purchases, the National Retail Federation found. Consumers shelled out $299.60 in 2015, according to the trade group, which bases its figures on surveys conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The weekend was characterized by heavy markdowns and a shift toward e-commerce, meaning there were smaller crowds at the mall. Forty-four percent of consumers did their shopping online, compared with 40 percent at brick-and-mortar stores. In either case, many of them were looking for just one thing: a good deal.