Spending down for Xmas

SPENDING was down over the Black Friday weekend in the US, data out yesterday showed, although more people turned out to peruse the shops than last year.<br /><br />In the post-Thanksgiving period, which traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping rush, average spending was down 7.9 per cent a person as shoppers reined in their spending and bought cheaper items, the National Retail Federation said. But it added that 195m shoppers visited stores and websites over the weekend, up from 172m last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;While retailers are encouraged by the number of Americans who shopped over Black Friday weekend, they know they have their work cut out for them to keep people coming back through Christmas,&rdquo; Tracy Mullin, NRF president and chief executive said. <br /><br />Department stores were the destination of choice, it said.