LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In spite of the sluggish economy, Americans opened their wallets and purses on Black Friday and broke sales records.

The average shopper spent nearly $400 over the weekend, which is $33 more than last year.

Retailers opened their doors to the biggest shopping weekend of the year — earlier than ever.

“Retailers that opened early actually saw a 24% increase in Thursday and Friday business,” said Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst for The NPD Group, Inc.

A record 226 million shoppers hit the stores and shopped online, spending nearly 53 billion dollars, more than any other Black Friday weekend in history.

With some Cyber Monday deals expected to last through the week, retailers could have good reason to cheer.

“There’s plenty of holiday shopping left to come,” says Cohen. “It’s all about the deal.”


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