(NBC News) Black Friday isn't just on Friday anymore.
The annual holiday mega-retail event began Thanksgiving evening in many stores, and the corresponding deals, continuing through the weekend, are predicted to yield the biggest Black Friday sales in history.
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In its annual holiday shopping forecast, the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase 3.6 percent — higher than the seven-year average since the Great Recession. The growth is expected to create 690,000 new seasonal jobs as consumers relieved that a nasty presidential campaign is behind them open their wallets, the federation said.