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TODAY   |  November 30, 2013

Black Friday: Blowout or bust? Retailers weigh in

The Black Friday frenzy is now in the history books, but did the extra early Thanksgiving openings make a difference for retailers? NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> retailers this morning as we know holiday shopping is in full swing. the day was not without incident. there were several fights that broke out. this apparently becoming a holiday tradition across the country. shoppers rushing in there to get those deals first. all in all did this black friday live up to expectations? kristen dahlgren is in herald's square at macy's.

>> reporter: good morning. nothing says the holidays without wrestling over the big screen tv . the flagship macy's store is open an hour so far. not the numbers we saw yesterday and it is, without a doubt, not as frantic out here today. in a philadelphia mall, black friday tensions reached the boiling point. two female shoppers coming to blows and one even using what appeared to be a stun begun. at a walmart in north carolina , no stun guns but elbows were flying as shoppers pushed their way to discount tvs. despite the crush, the cold.

>> we waited five hours to get it.

>> reporter: and plenty of thanksgiving openings, millions of americans hit the stores in search of bargains.

>> this is the best spot i can be in right here! i know i'm going to get -- i'm going to be the first one to get my laptop!

>> reporter: stores were angling for the best position too. since thanksgiving falls so late in november this year, there are six fewer shopping days than last year. that means black friday results may be extra important. the national retail federation is predicting the door-busters will pay off. forecasting total holiday sales of $602 billion. up 3.9% over last year.

>> these extra promotions and these extra hours may have cut into our dinnertime with our families, but it really gave a good boost for the retailers.

>> reporter: walmart is already calling it a record breaking weekend saying it processed more than 10 million register transactions from 6:00 p.m . to 10:00 p.m . on thanksgiving alone. selling 2 million tlefgs and 1.4 million tablets and 1.9 million dolls and 300,000 bicycles on thursday and many shoppers say they are not ready to slow down yet.

>> we are going to keep on going, i think. i don't think we are going to end!

>> reporter: all right. so tomorrow, get the official numbers in to see if it was as good as retailers were hoping for. we do have some of the online numbers in and walmart.com saying thursday, on thanksgiving, the most traffic day on its website ever, erica.

>> wow. probably not the last we are going to hear about the record-setting numbers. today we should point out is small business saturday. really an effort to get people to shop lowell. i know there are some deals out there. can these smaller stores compete, especially as we see black friday getting so big with the big box retailers?

>> reporter: that is what small business saturday is all about. they are hoping to direct people into the small businesses . the small business owners are pretty optimistic. 33% say they plan on increasing staff this holiday season and 64% think their revenue will go up. this is the most interesting statistic i thought. 9 out of 10 say black friday has little or no impact on their bottom line.

>> pretty interesting. might have to check out my local businesses today. thanks.