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Sunday, 1 December, 2002, 14:40 GMT
Wal-Mart posts record one-day sales
Inside a Wal-Mart store
The shelves did not stay full for long
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has reported record one-day sales for the day after Thanksgiving.

The retailer said shoppers spent a total of $1.43bn (918m) at its stores on Friday, compared with $1.25bn on the same day last year.

A survey also suggested that Wal-Mart was not the only retailer to enjoy strong sales, with a poll by research firm ShopperTrak saying that sales on Friday were up by 12.3% against last year.

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the strongest shopping days of the year.

Economy boost

Last year, the ShopperTrak survey showed that sales on the day after Thanksgiving grew by only 2.7% on 2000, as consumer sentiment remained depressed following the 11 September terror attacks.

The bigger sales increase this year will raise hopes that consumer spending - which accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity - is remaining strong.

Last week the latest survey from US research group the Conference Board suggested consumers' faith in the economy was returning, with sentiment rising for the first time in five months.

Lower prices?

Last month, Wal-Mart unsettled the stock market with a cautious outlook for the holiday period.

It said sales for the quarter - which includes the crucial Christmas trading period - were likely to grow by between 3% and 5%, which was at the lower end of expectations.

This led analysts to suggest that Wal-Mart would have to make price cuts in order to drive sales growth.

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