Retail sales on Black Friday, the day which traditionally launches Holiday shopping season, were up by 3.8 percent this year, according to a national research group which tracks retail outlets in the U.S.

Sales at more than 50,000 retail outlets were up to $10.3 billion on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared to $9.5 billion a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, the Associated Press reported. The group had expected sales to rise no more than 4 to 5 percent.

The National Retail Federation expected a rise in retail spending of 4 percent in November and December.