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WASHINGTON DC-Sales last weekend, also called Black Friday weekend, totaled $28 billion, up 21.9% from last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. The big push during the period, widely considered one of the biggest holiday shopping stretches of the year, was due to deep discounts offered by retailers as well as favorable weather.

About 145 million consumers hit the stores or logged onto the Internet to shop, up from 133 million last year, according to the survey. Friday’s 60 million shoppers were a 7.9% increase from last year, and the 52.8 million consumers out on Saturday made for a 13.3% jump.

“By offering incredible discounts, retailers were able to bring consumers to the stores who otherwise would have stayed in bed,” says Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for BIGresearch, the firm that conducted the survey for the NRF. “The deals were so enticing that many consumers abandoned their shopping lists and started buying for themselves.”

Most consumers, 60.7%, hit discount stores to do their shopping. Grabbing a 47% draw were department stores, and specialty chains grabbed 41.2% of the shoppers surveyed. The average person spent $302.81, says the survey, which polled 4,209 shoppers.

Clothing and accessories were the most popular items, attracting 49.2% of the dollars spent; books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games caught a 46.7% share; and 36.7% went to electronics.

The NRF’s on-line division expects 58.9 million people to shop for holiday items on the Internet today. About 27.4% of all consumers say they will do at least some of their shopping from a computer, the survey says.

The NRF predicts that spending this holiday season will jump 6% from last year’s. However, another trade organization, the International Council of Shopping Centers, has forecast a 3% to 3.5% increase.

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