And some would-be shoppers said they weren't impressed with the discounts, or that there wasn't enough inventory of the big door-busters.
"As far as deals, they weren't there," said Tammy Stempel, 48, of Gladstone, Ore. "But business have to be successful, too. I'm hoping they extend the deals through December."
She was waiting in line outside an Ikea in Portland on Saturday to buy pots and pans for her 18-year old daughter -- as a hint that it was time to move out. Stemple and her husband went shopping at two Targets, Michaels and other stores Friday, but failed to find any amazing deals, even on a flat-screen TV they wanted for themselves.
Target, Best Buy (BBY) and other stores near the Ikea seemed to have few customers, and traffic at the nearby Lloyd Center Mall also was light, even for a normal weekend.Many shoppers around the country were armed with iPads and smart phones, to check prices as well as buy. Online auction and shopping site eBay (EBAY) reported more the 2.5 times the number of mobile transactions as last year. Online retailers worked as hard as brick-and-mortar stores to draw customers, sending each of their subscribers an average of 5.9 promotional emails during the 7 days through Black Friday. That's an all-time high, according to marketing software company Responsys. IBM, which tracks more than 1 million transactions at 500 online retailers each day, said its data showed 24% of online shoppers used a mobile device to check out a retailer's site and about 16% of online purchases were made on a mobile device. But while total online spending rose sharply, the value of the average online order dipped about 5% to $181.22. In spite of all the TV reports showing shoppers carting away laptops and giant flat-screen TVs, IBM said combined sales of consumer electronics, printers and other office supplies were up only 8%, with average order prices of $326.05.