Despite a struggling economy, consumers took to stores on Black Friday and set a spending record. In spite of the long lines, fights, and wayward pepper-spraying, shoppers spent $52.4 billion over the weekend, giving retailers billions of  reasons to be thankful.

To try to continue to capitalize on the need for a good deal, companies kicked off Cyber Monday and are offering a slew of incentives such as deep discounts and free shipping to try to entice shoppers to spend even more.

Although shoppers broke spending records over the weekend, many think this year’s Black Friday spending boom doesn’t mean the economy is turning around. The Atlantic reports:

And just because people showed up for sales on Friday doesn’t mean they’ll keep it up throughout the holiday season. The last biggest Black Friday, as USA Today’s Jayne O’Donnell notes happened back in 2008, right after the economy crumbled. Some indicator that was. Unemployment still hovers just below 10 percent and we might see another recession in 2012. Shoppers turned out in such big numbers that year because retailers hacked prices as much as 80 percent to lure fearful and frugal customers. While the market jumped 800 points the following week, points out Seeking Alpha’s Seth Mason, the rest of the holiday shopping season didn’t go so well. And here we are today, not exactly out of the recession.

So, if you stayed at home on Black Friday and aren’t itching to spend on Cyber Monday, fear not…the sales will continue throughout the holiday season. Retailers are desperate to turn a profit during this time of year which may account for up to 40% of their business.

Did you shop till you dropped over the weekend? Will you be shopping up a storm this holiday season? 

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