Holiday shopping season got started with a bang last Thursday and Friday, with retail sales increasing 2.3% over last year. Unlike previous years, Thursday night openings were a big deal time around (Thanksgiving day). Between the two days, roughly $12.3 billion was spent at brick and mortar stores, a 2.8% increase over last year. Online shopping also set records with close to $3 billion in sales on both days - close to 40% higher than the year before for Friday sales. While the overall gains were the weakest since 2009, we have yet to get the results from Cyber Monday. Keep in mind, every year more and more consumers do their holiday shopping online (to avoid crowds, get better deals, etc.). As such, holiday sales could still see a fairly large boost over 2012 when all is said and done.