NPR's business news begins with a strong showing for retailers. Consumers spent a record $52.4 billion at stores and on the Internet over the weekend. It's the official start of the holiday shopping season. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers hunting for Black Friday bargains spent an average of about $400 each, which is a big jump over last year.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
At Macy's flagship store in New York, 9,000 people lined up for the start of Black Friday sales at midnight. Last year, only 7,000 people turned out for an opening at 4:00 in the morning, so the strategy of starting earlier - as many stores did – may be working. Some say the weekend is a good omen for the retail industry. Others remain weary and are keeping an eye on unemployment numbers. Today the focus is on Web deals, what's dubbed cyber-Monday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.