Black Friday sales were surprisingly bleak for retailers

Black Friday sales were surprisingly bleak for retailers
(Image credit: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Millions of people shopped in stores and online Thanksgiving weekend, but fewer shoppers spent 11 percent less from Thursday though Sunday this year compared with last, the National Retail Federation said Sunday night.

According to the NFR's survey, by Prosper Insights & Analytics, weekend sales dropped to an estimated $50.9 billion, from $57.4 billion in 2013, and about 133.7 million people said they shopped online or in stores over the four days, a 5.2 percent drop from last year. The retail trade group stood by its forecast that over the entire season, spending will rise 4.1 percent from 2013, but it had a bunch of conflicting explanations for why Black Friday weekend was a relative bust, especially given dropping gas prices and increasing consumer confidence.

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