US shoppers spend record $52.4 bn on Thanksgiving weekend

US shoppers spent a record sum of $52.4 billion over the long Thanksgiving weekend on purchases in stores and on the Internet, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

An unprecedented total of 226 million shoppers visited stores and web sites, compared with 212 million in 2010, according to a poll taken by the BIGresearch company for the NRF.

The figures include Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Saturday, plus estimated spending for Sunday.

The average outlay was $398.62 per person, compared with $365.34 last year.

"(M)ore consumers than ever turned out for retailers' Black Friday promotions, a promising sign for the economic recovery," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

While 51.4 percent of consumers bought clothing and accessories, nearly four in 10 went for electronic products, according to the study taken Nov 24-26 with 3,826 shopper interviews and with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile 35.2 percent visited retailers' web sites, compared with 33.6 percent in 2010, seen as a good omen for Cyber Monday, a day for finding the best bargains on the Internet.

NRF launched Cyber Monday in 2005 and last year it added sales of around $1 billion, according to the ComScore firm, which tracks online buying.

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