Holiday shoppers spent about 3 percent less than last year during the Black Friday sales. Stores drew more shoppers than last year, but they spent less.
Big chain stores opened on Thanksgiving Day, boosting traffic up 27 percent with nearly a third of shoppers headed to stores on the holiday, according to Shoppertrak.
A record 141 million people are believed to have shopped in stores and online during the four-day holiday weekend.
But early estimates show overall spending expected to reach $57.4 billion for the weekend, down from $59.1 billion last year.
"The economy spoke loud and clear over the past few days," said Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors. "We are going to see an increase in markdowns."
Many Christmas shoppers will also head online Monday, looking for the deep discounts many stores offer on Cyber Monday.