Black Friday Sales Up 6% to Nearly $9B; Wal-Mart Disappoints

The nation's retailers had a strong start to the holiday shopping season, as sales rose 6% to $8.96 billion on Balck Friday, compared to the same day a year ago, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks total sales at more than 45,000 mall-based retail outlets. However Wal-Mart sales lagged as it expects to report same-store sales in November below its already lackluster forecast.

Wal-Mart, however, estimated it will post a 0.1% decline in same-store sales, or sales at stores opened at least a year, in November. Same-store sales are a key performance indicator of a retailer's health.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Wal-Mart has averaged a meager 2.4% gain in same-store sales for the February-October period. That compares with a same-store sales gain of 4.8% for Target and 4.5% for Penney  for the February-October period.

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