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Sun 27 Nov 2011 12:04 PM

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Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales

Frenetic shopping day is make-or-break period for US retailers struggling amid global woes

Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
Customers shop for electronics items during 'Black Friday' at a Best Buy store on November 25, 2011 San Diego, California (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
Thousands of consumers queued at various stores across the US to take advantage of 'Black Friday' deals as the holiday shopping season began in America (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
The holiday shopping season that traditionally kicks off on Black Friday - the biggest day of the year for retailers - was closely watched by investors as consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the US economy (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
ShopperTrak, which measures retail traffic, estimated that sales rose 6.6% on Friday compared with a year earlier (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
Pedestrians and shoppers fill the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue on 'Black Friday' in New York City (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
In 2010 retailers also got off to a strong start to the holidays, only to see a sharp and quick falloff (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
The tough economy, coupled with smart phones that allow for fast comparison of prices, mean the pressure to offer consumers something special and affordable is intense (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
Retailers are also trying to strike the right balance between not having too much inventory that must later be sold at profit-draining discounts and making sure they do not anger customers by running out of popular items (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
Black Friday bargain hunters wait in line at Toys R' Us (Getty Images)
Black Friday shoppers push rise in US retail sales
Online shopping soared on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, suggesting that Cyber Monday - the biggest online shopping day of the year - could be a banner day for retailers (Getty Images)