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Black Friday, the first official day of the holiday shopping season, saw that "despite the robust nature of the economy, most people were hunting for bargains and giving cold shoulders to a lot of things that were not marked down" (Jennifer Steinhauer, N.Y. TIMES, 11/29). In L.A., George White reported that shopper turnout Friday "was up" 5-10% nationally. White: "However, despite the strong turnouts in some locations, not everyone was buying heavily. Sales appeared to be up only slightly over last year, and much of the increase was generated by bargain hunters" (L.A. TIMES, 11/29). PBS's Suzanne Pratt said surveys showed that holiday sales should gain about 4.5% this year to around $162B ("NBR," 11/28). Gerard Klauer Mattison, NY, retail analyst Tom Filandro: "We think there's a couple of trends happening in the marketplace which are favorable for the specialists in particular. We think they will gain market share from department stores. There's a lot of product innovation, brands are driving the business, and we strongly believe that we're in a fashion bottom cycle on the apparel front" (CNBC, 11/28). Internet holiday sales are "expected" to top $1B for the first time ever (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/28).