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Holiday shopping season starts with a slump

Holiday shopping season starts with a slump

Sales at retail stores dropped on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a sign that more consumers opted to shop earlier and go online for holiday gifts.

Combined sales for those two days, which have traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season, totaled about $12.1 billion, according to preliminary data from ShopperTrak. That's down from $12.3 billion during the same period last year.

"What we're seeing is some softness in the two days, which could be accounted for by early promotions," ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said.

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