The holiday shopping season appeared to get off to a strong start, with Wal-Mart ( WMT) ringing up record one-day sales on Friday as consumers snapped up its discounted electronics and appliances.

The nation's biggest retailer posted overall sales of $14.3 billion on Friday, up 14% from a year ago and the best one-day performance in company history. The shares were up about $1.50 to $55.40 on Instinet.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Sears, Roebuck ( S) saying it saw a "modest increase" in sales over the weekend, while J.C. Penney ( JCP) reported sales increases across all of its categories.

While more will be known about the sector's overall performance when the National Retail Federation issues its report later Monday, one Chicago-based consultant estimated total sales were about $7.4 billion on Friday, up about 12% from a year ago.

Online retailers also had a good weekend, racking up about $150.9 million in sales on Friday, up 40% from a year ago, according to ComSource.