The National Retail Federation says that Black Friday weekend sales grew slightly, 0.5% over last year, because shoppers were snatching up bargains. The NRF, which expects holiday spending to fall 1% this year, said, "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. Shoppers can continue to expect retailers to focus on low prices and bargains through the end of December."

It was a different story for one Soho street vendor. Carlos Wolford, who sells lambskin hats and other handmade goods for $80-150, told the NY Times, "Last year, I sold almost everything. On a good day you can make $1,000. If I make $200 today I’ll be lucky." But at Uniqlo, the manager said business was "'excellent'...as she wrangled shoppers through the checkout line, some 40 deep. Sales were running about 25 percent higher than last year, and about 40 percent more than for a regular day, she said."

Some interesting stats: The NRF's survey found "An estimated 31.2 percent of shoppers were at stores by 5 a.m., compared with 23.3 percent who were at stores by that time last year" and comScore says that Black Friday online spending was up 11%, with $595 million spent. And 96.5 million Americans are expected to do a little online shopping today (Cyber Monday), up from 85 million last year.