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Originally published Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

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NEWS SUMMARY: Holiday shopping has strong start

THANKSGIVING RECORDS: A survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday showed that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK —

THANKSGIVING RECORDS: A survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday showed that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the Thanksgiving weekend.

MORE SHOPPERS: A record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend starting Thanksgiving, according to the survey. That's up 9.2 percent from a year ago.

MORE SPENDING: The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up nearly 13 percent from 2011

BEHIND THE FIGURES: Shoppers were attracted by stores' efforts to make shopping easier for everyone, including opening on Thanksgiving Day and expanding shipping and layaway options.

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