By Bernie Becker - 12/02/13 09:18 AM EST
Retail sales dipped for the first Thanksgiving weekend in at least seven years, according to a top industry group.
The National Retail Federation says that customers spent an estimated $57.4 billion – down 2.4 percent from the previous year – during the unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season. In all, roughly 141 million customers went to stores or shopped online over the weekend, around two million more than in 2012.
Top stores rolled out big discounts both online and in-store for the weekend, and offered even longer hours for dedicated shoppers.
"But preliminary sales estimates based on surveys of shoppers suggest the tactics may be reaching a point of diminishing returns," The Wall Street Journal said.