20081128 black friday shoppers 83849943 35
Shoppers waiting in line at Best Buy in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov, 28, 2008, otherwise known as Black Friday. - 


Steve Chiotakis: Well today is Cyber Monday. Lots of deals online for holiday shoppers. And if Black Friday was any indication, it could be a decent day for online retailers. Stores -- of the brick and mortar kind -- boasted some better-than-expected holiday-kickoff numbers, as Jill Barshay reports.

Jill Barshay: Shopping this Thanksgiving weekend was even better than in 2007, when the economy still seemed to be on track. One in every two Americans was out shopping some time between Thursday and Sunday -- a 17 percent increase from last year. And each shopper spent more than the year before.

That's according to preliminary data from the National Retail Federation. Scott Krugman is a spokesman with the group:

Scott Krugman: I think the reason why people are shopping so much now is because they weren't shopping at all for the last two months. Consumers looked like they were waiting and waiting for the best deals possible. They knew that was going to happen over Black Friday weekend and they decided to splurge a little bit.

Retailers worked hard to lure shoppers with big bargains. Clothing was the biggest seller, but electronics like big screen TVs sold well too. Still, this buying frenzy will have to continue for many more weeks if retailers hope to rebound from the sales slump of previous months.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.