Retail sales rose a slight 0.3 percent compared with the day after Thanksgiving last year, to $10.69 billion, according to ShopperTrak.
The firm says that's still a record for the day.
The slim increase came despite a 2.2 percent boost in store traffic, the Chicago research firm says.
Some shoppers shifted purchases to earlier in the month in response to promotions, the firm says.
Spending for first two weeks of the month rose 6.1 percent over last year.
Meanwhile, online merchants saw a 16 percent revenue spike, according to research company Coremetrics.
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