But does the weekend binge mean we are actually spending more? Julia Coronado, chief economist at BNP Paribas, says not necessarily: "This pulls forward shopping from other days and later weeks. A lot of it is just deal-centered concentration of shopping rather than an absolute increase in how much we're buying."
Yet retailers are still pulling out all the stops with a litany of shopping events this season -- Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Mobile Tuesday. Coronado explains: "Consumers are still cash-strapped, they're looking for a deal, and retailers are competing with eachother to deliver that to them."