Nightly News   |  November 30, 2013

Initial Black Friday retail numbers are in

NBC’s Kristin Dahlgren with the preliminary numbers of what many retailers consider the most important shopping day of the year.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> for many people this this country, today the weekend meant another chance to hunt for holiday bargains as the first numbers were released from black friday which retailers consider the most important day of the year. nbc's kristen dahlgren is watching from here in new york for us. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, lester. big changes to tell you about. we just got the numbers in. what we are seeing is really the end of black friday as a behemoth shopping day. not because retailers are struggling but it is now a two-day event starting on thanksgiving. we are seeing a change in who's coming to the stores. people shopping online and on cell phones in record numbers this year. even with door busters dwindling the hunt for the deal was still on.

>> the best time to be shopping now.

>> i got hooer as early as i could.

>> $200 boots for $39. cosmetic kits less than 50% off.

>> reporter: shoppers spent $9.7 billion on black friday, down 13.2% from last year. add in thanksgiving day shopping and sales rose overall, 2.3% from the same two days last year.

>> all in all it was a good, safe two days and a good number on the sales standpoint.

>> reporter: according to the national retail federation , holiday sales are expected to be $602 billion this year. hitting the stores isn't for everyone. the search for the best deal can bring out the worst in people.

>> i would liken it to "the hunger games." it seemed like we were being attacked over a sweater.

>> reporter: natalie pettyjohn shopped online.

>> you can do it from your bed, your kitchen, on an airplane, wherever. i think the convenience of that, people appreciate. in today's world we are all busy.

>> reporter: analysts predict online sales could top more than $48 billion this holiday, up 14% from last year.

>> i believe in going online, finding the best deal out there.

>> reporter: walmart saw record traffic on its site. 400 million page views thanksgiving alone. it's not just people shopping from the comfort of home. nearly 7 in 10 smartphone owners are expected to use their mobile device to make purchases.

>> this black friday we saw a huge spike in people using their mobile devices and tablets. sales were up almost 50% this season.

>> reporter: as more and more shoppers take their hunt for bargains high tech .

>> i will go innen and sometimes look for what i want. then i will go online and see if i can 2350i7find a better deal.

>> reporter: retailers will take the sales however they can get them -- online or in store. shoppers will be watching to see how the stores did and if there are going to be more markdowns approaching the holidays.

>> kristen dahlgren in manhattan. thanks.