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." ------ AP writers Rodrigue Ngowi in Watertown, Mass. and Juan Carolos Llorca in El Paso, Tex. contributed to this report