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Black Friday Sales Shatter Records at $52.4 Billion


To quote Justin Timberlake's character in The Social Network, "You know what's cool? A billion dollars." About $52.4 billion, to be exact. According to the National Retail Foundation's figures, that's how much fashion—and gift—hungry shoppers spent over the four-day period beginning on November 24, trouncing last week's admittedly optimistic predictions.

Last year, consumers shelled out about $45 billion over the course of Thanksgiving weekend. This means 2011 saw a 16 percent increase in Black Friday sales. Fueled by more weekend-exclusive promotions and one-off discounts than ever before, a total of 226 million people hit the stores last weekend, shelling out an average of $398.62 each.

Online sales, in particular, showed immense growth. According to ComScore, consumers spent a staggering $816 million at various e-tailers, up from $648 million last Black Friday (that's a 26 percent increase!). Interestingly, nearly 10 percent of all online purchases were made on mobile devices such as iPads or smartphones.

Keep in mind that today is Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the entire year—so expect even more virtual haulage to happen over the next 24 hours.

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