(NBCNEWS) — The must-have item at Wal-Mart on "Black Friday" wasn't a mega TV, sleek tablet or the latest giggling Elmo. It was towels.
It's a sign of the times that consumers battered by a recovery that has boosted corporate profits but has done little to raise their own bottom lines are reduced to scrapping over basic bathroom supplies.
The retailer announced it had sold 2.8 million towels during the shopping event, which this year started even earlier at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The textile sales outpaced the 300,000 bicycles, 1.4 million tablets, and 2 million televisions sold during the period, and also beat last year's towel sales by 1 million.
Advertisement - story continues below
Both towels and washcloths were sold in six packs for $1.74, or 29 cents per towel.