U.S. retailers offered holiday discounts in early November and opened stores on Thanksgiving Day to attract more shoppers. Those tactics drew bigger crowds, but they didn't motivate Americans to spend.
A record 141 million people were expected to shop in stores and online over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend that ended Sunday, up from last year's 137 million, according to a survey conducted for The National Retail Federation.
Shoppers spent a little less than $10 billion at stores across the nation on Black Friday, a 13 percent drop from one year ago.
But total spending is expected to fall for the first time ever since the retail group started tracking it in 2006. Over the four-day weekend, spending is estimated to reach $57.4 billion, down 2.9 percent from last year.
The group says earlier discounts led Americans to shop before the weekend and be more cautious about spending.