It appears the holiday shopping season is off to a great start as consumers spent record amounts in stores over Black Friday weekend.
Online sales were up as well and retailers are hoping those numbers will continue to rise during Cyber Monday.
More Americans shopped for Black Friday bargains this year than ever before.
A record 226 million people shopped online or in stores during the four-day holiday weekend. That's 144 million more shoppers than a year ago, and they spent more money too.
The average holiday shopper spent about $398 dollars, up from $365 last year.
"We felt like we had a little bit more room to buy more gifts this year," one shopper said.
It seems efforts made by retailers to lure shoppers into their stories paid off.
Some major chains like Macy's, Target and Best Buy started the shopping season early. They opened their doors at midnight Thursday, giving them a head start over their competition.
It remains to be seen if retailers can continue to hold shoppers attention, since the holiday season can account for 25 to 40 percent of a store's annual revenue.
"As the consumer spends and the momentum coming out of holiday very well will likely and usually does create growth the following year," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with The NPD Group.
"If they do, it's great news for the economy, but if they don't, well, this was a one-hit wonder," explained Trish Regan, a financial journalist for ABC News.
Increased spending will continue at least through Monday. Cyber Monday, as it is known, is the busiest online retail day of the year.
"It's more convenient. You don't have to deal with traffic," one person said.
"You don't have to worry about the crowds," another online shopper said.
More than 123 million people say they plan to shop from their home or office Monday.
If you're planning to take part in Cyber Monday, here are some online shopping tips:
- Check your favorite stores Facebook or Twitter pages for special deals
- Find stores offering free shipping
- Always check and compare prices of items before buying