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Holiday Shopping Season Off to Record Start

Black Friday is still expected to be the biggest shopping day of the years, but sales on that day totaled $11.2 billion, down 1.8% from last year, according to ShopperTrak. That's below ShopperTrak's estimate that Black Friday sales would rise 3.8% to $11.4 billion.

Karen MacDonald, a spokeswoman at Taubman Centers, which operates 28 malls across the country, said that Thanksgiving openings hurt business. Based on a sampling of 10 malls, sales growth was unchanged up to mid-single digits on Friday, and unchanged up to low single digit on Saturday.

"It was a different feeling," she said. "It was a good Black Friday, but I don't think it was great."

The disappointing sales on Black Friday may have been the result of shoppers like Miguel Garcia, a 40-year-old office coordinator.

"I can't deal with all that craziness," said Garcia, who was at a Target in the Bronx borough of New York City on Saturday. "Compared to what I saw on TV yesterday, this is so much more comfortable and relaxed. I can actually think straight and compare prices."

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AP writers Rodrigue Ngowi in Watertown, Mass. and Juan Carolos Llorca in El Paso, Tex. contributed to this report
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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