More shopping, less buying. Why were Black Friday numbers less than the year before? 

Perhaps it was stores opening on Thanksgiving night that brought out the crowds. But the numbers don't lie, American's spent 2.9 percent less on the Black Friday weekend.

And that's the first time those numbers have gone down since 2009 -- after the depths of the great recession. National retail Federation president Matthew Shay puts a spin on the lower numbers.

"In spite of those early openings and that increased numbers of retailers that were engaged in Thanksgiving openings, Black Friday was still the biggest day," he said. 

The average American spent $177 over the weekend, and online shopping accounted for a big percentage of that all three days.