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ShopperTrak: Stores have a solid start to holidays

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012

ShopperTrak counts foot traffic and its own proprietary sales numbers from 40,000 retail outlets across the U.S.

The report follows survey results from the National Retail Federation released Sunday. The Washington-based retail trade group said that a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend starting on Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent from last year, according to a survey of 4,000 shoppers conducted by research firm BIGinsight for the group.

Americans spent more too. The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011. The group did not have day-by-day spending details. According to comScore, which tracks online spending, online sales rose 26 percent to $1.04 billion on Black Friday compared with a year ago. On Thanksgiving, online sales rose 32 percent from last year to $633 million.

"This is the year that everything changed," said Mike Moriarity, a partner at business consultant A.T. Kearney. "You have to be everywhere all the time." And he said consumers are driving the change.

Analysts will study November sales results, to be released Thursday by major retailers such as Target and Macy's, to gain more insight into the start of the holiday shopping season.