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Holiday shopping off to a stronger start thanks to Turkey Day shoppers

A woman carries bags while shopping Macy's State Street downtown Chicago Black Friday November 29 2013. | Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times

A woman carries bags while shopping at Macy's State Street in downtown Chicago on Black Friday, November 29, 2013. | Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 2, 2014 6:48AM

Thanksgiving Day shopping provided a big boost to holiday sales, according to a report Saturday.

Overall, more people hit stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday this year than last, and they spent more, according to the report from the Chicago firm ShopperTrak, which gathers data from about 50,000 stores and shopping centers across the country.

More people shopping after their turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day made the difference, said Bill Martin, the founder of ShopperTrak.

Retail sales this Black Friday fell by 13.2 percent compared to last year, and in-store foot traffic was down 11.4 percent.

But retail sales over the two days still were up by 2.3 percent, as shoppers spent an estimated $12.3 billion, according to ShopperTrak.

“Retailers were quite successful at getting the consumers to come out and shop on Thursday, but it clearly came at the expense of sales that would normally come on Black Friday,” Martin said. “The Black Friday shopping experience is changing, with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day.”



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