Holiday Shopping Brings in Big Bucks

NEW YORK (AP) _ Holiday cheer is translating into cold hard cash
for retailers so far this season.

A retail industry tracking group reports that sales over the past two days rose more than 7 percent compared to the same time last year.

ShopperTrak tallies up a total of more than 16 billion dollars for Friday and Saturday.

The online shopping scene is even brighter. An Internet research firm reports a 22 percent gain in online sales the day after Thanksgiving compared with the same day a year ago.

ComScore estimates Cyber Monday's sales could exceed 700 million dollars.

One industry analyst says consumers were filling the malls with their lists in hand and going on "mission-based'' shopping excursions.

The nation's stores worked hard to lure consumers in with expanded hours, including midnight openings, and a blitz of early morning specials.

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