Stores report upbeat start to shopping season

ATWATER VILLAGE, Calif. Malls like the Glendale Galleria were packed on Black Friday. Also reporting larger crowds than last year were major stores like Best Buy, Macy's and Toys R Us.

The Toys R Us in /*Atwater Village*/ did not have lines out the door Saturday morning, but the store did open its doors at 7 a.m. and advertised that /*Black Friday*/ deals will carry over through the weekend, giving shoppers multiple chances to score deals.

Another encouraging sign on Black Friday for retailers was that people seemed to be indulging, buying not just necessities but luxury items like jewelry.

While shoppers loosened their purse strings, retailers say customers still seemed very value conscious, many using lay-away or paying in cash.

Brick and mortar shops weren't the only ones feeling the Black Friday rush - online merchants saw a 16 percent spike in revenue.

Data released Saturday by Web research company Coremetrics shows that the increase was partly due to shoppers spending more per online purchase. The average order rose from $170.19 to $190.80 - a 12 percent increase.

The solid increase adds to a 33 percent online spending spike on Thanksgiving day, and signs of bigger-than-expected crowds in stores.

More dollars have shifted to online shopping over the years, but it's still a relatively small share of the entire holiday spending pie, amounting to somewhere between 8 and 10 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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