WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 26, 2010 – Proving it is still one of the most anticipated shopping days of the year, Americans lined the sidewalks, store entryways and parking lots as early as midnight waiting to get their hands on retailers’ Black Friday deals, including discounted HDTVs, toys, Blu-ray players, jewelry, home appliances and apparel.

As expected, Thanksgiving Day deals also drew eager holiday shoppers away from the dinner table and into the stores.

“Retailers nationwide have impressed even the most skeptical consumers, offering aggressive prices on a variety of merchandise which attracted both gift buyers and even some who braved the crowds to go shopping for themselves,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While Black Friday weekend is only a small piece of the very large holiday pie, holiday retail sales seem to be off to a great start.”

NRF estimates that holiday sales will increase 2.3 percent this year to $447.1 billion. NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using indicators like housing data, unemployment and previous monthly retail sales reports and includes retail industry sales from November and December.