According to Business Insider, Black Friday sales declined considerably this year. The National Retail Federation estimates that sales were down by about 11%.

Many analysts had predicted the biggest holiday shopping season ever. The lack of sales could indicate that many Americans are continuing to struggle financially.

The National Retail Federation says that many stores started promotions early in hopes of gaining an advantage over their competition. Walmart discounted 20,000 items in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, twice as many as the year before. They also increased the number of items available online from 1 million to 7 million and offered more shipping options, and it paid off for them. Walmart reported record online sales for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The good news for many retailers is that the NRF predicts holiday sales will rise by about 4.1% this year.

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