Holiday shopping season off to record start

By Anne D'innocenzio

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Nov. 25 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

"I fell lucky that I caught the deals and there was no craziness, no fighting," Linda Michaels said. "I was nervous."

— Black Friday flop: It appears that the Thanksgiving openings may have hurt sales on the day after Thanksgiving, which is usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday sales totaled $11.2 billion, down 1.8 percent from last year, according to ShopperTrak. That's below ShopperTrak's estimate that Black Friday sales would rise 3.8 percent to $11.4 billion.

Karen Macdonald, a spokeswoman at Taubman Centers, which operates 28 malls across the country, said that Thanksgiving openings hurt business for the industry. Based on a sampling of 10 malls, sales growth was unchanged up to mid-single digits on Friday, and unchanged up to low single digit on Saturday.

"It was a different feeling," she said. "It was a good Black Friday, but I don't think it was great."

AP writers Rodrigue Ngowi in Watertown

, Mass., Sarah Skidmore in Portland, Ore., and Juan Carolos Llorca in El Paso, Tex. contributed to this report.
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