- Associated Press - Saturday, November 26, 2011

The holiday shopping season got off to a strong start on Black Friday, with retail sales up 7 percent over last year, according to ShopperTrak. Now stores just have to keep buyers coming back without the promise of door-buster savings.

Buyers spent $11.4 billion at retail stores and malls, up nearly $1 billion from last year. It was the biggest amount ever spent on the day and the biggest year-over-year increase since 2007.

ShopperTrak gathers data from 25,000 outlets across the U.S., including individual stores and shopping centers.

ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said buyers responded to price reductions. Sales were up several weeks before Black Friday as retailers began promotions even earlier than usual.

Martin said it remains to be seen if the pace will continue through the holiday season.


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