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Black Friday sales see slight rise

The start of the US Christmas shopping season has seen an increase in customer numbers but only a slight rise in actual spending, data has shown.

The number of people hitting the shops on Black Friday rose 2.2% on last year, research group ShopperTrak said, but sales only rose 0.3% to $10.7bn (£7bn).

Black Friday is the day after the Thanksgiving public holiday. Many shops open overnight and offer discounts.

Many retailers also pushed customers to their websites with online-only sales.
'Spending wisely'

The 0.3% increase in sales on Black Friday followed a 0.5% rise last year.

"This means the American consumer has adapted to the economic climate over the last couple of years and is possibly spending more wisely as the holiday season begins," said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin.

Online payment service PayPal reported a 27% increase in volumes on the day, compared with Black Friday in 2009.

"The tough economy has made shoppers more price-conscious, and this year's Black Friday results show that they're going online to find the best deals," PayPal's Amanda Pires said.

BBC News

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