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Thanksgiving hours gives retailers 'good boost'

By Kristen Dahlgren, NBC | Posted - Nov. 30, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — Now that the Black Friday frenzy is over, stores are pouring over the numbers to see if opening on Thanksgiving Day made a difference.

In a Philadelphia mall, Black Friday tensions reached the boiling point with two female shoppers coming to blows, one even using what appeared to be a stun gun.

At a Wal-Mart in North Carolina, elbows were flying as shoppers pushed their way toward discount televisions. But despite the crush and the cold, millions of Americans hit the stores in search for bargains. "This is the best spot I could be in right here. ‘Cause I know I'm gonna get it. I'm gonna be the first one to get my laptop," said a shopper in Las Vegas.

Stores were angling for the best position too. Since Thanksgiving fell so late in November this year, there are six fewer shopping days than last year. That means Black Friday results may be extra important for retailers.

The National Retail Federation is predicting the "doorbusters" will pay off. They are forecasting total holiday sales of $602 billion, up 3.9 percent over last year. "These extra promotions and these extra hours may have cut into our dinner time with our families, but it really gave a good boost for retailers," said Hitha Prabhaktar, retail analyst.

Wal-Mart is already calling it a record breaking weekend, saying it processed more than 10 million register transactions from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day alone. They sold 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets, 1.9 million dolls and 300,000 bicycles on Thursday.

And many shoppers say they are not ready to slow down yet.

"Got a cart full for kids. We're gonna keep on going, I think. I don't think we're gonna end," said one shopper.

Numbers for some websites are in and Wal-Mart said that on Thursday it saw the most traffic on its website ever, and that is before the big "Cyber Monday" push.

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Kristen Dahlgren
    NBC

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