Powering through their turkey-induced sleepiness, millions of Americans lined the sidewalks, store entryways and parking lots late Thursday night and by midnight on Black Friday to score hot holiday deals on popular toys, electronics, apparel, DVDs, jewelry and more.

“After spending Thanksgiving celebrating with friends and family, Americans grabbed their coats and holiday wish lists and rushed out the door to take advantage of retailers’ unbelievable deals and promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Early morning openings appear to have been well worth it for both retailers and holiday shoppers, with many Americans believing that deals were too good to pass up regardless of who they were shopping for – themselves or others.”

“Strong store traffic and sales on Black Friday are a perfect example of how retailers are playing a significant role in powering the economic recovery,” continued Shay.

NRF estimates that holiday sales will increase 2.8 percent this year to $465 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.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.