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Shoppers walk through Macy's department store in New York City on Black Friday. Photo: Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images

Shoppers across the nation flocked to malls and major retailers Friday in search of "Black Friday" deals. About 158 million people were expected to shop in stores or online between Thursday and the end of the day Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Why it matters: Retailers hope a desire to return to holiday traditions will translate to big spending during the annual post-Thanksgiving sales events, even in the face of supply chain issues and rising prices due to inflation, as Axios' Hope King reported.

In Photos
Lines form at checkout of a Nike Factory Store early in the morning at the Outlet Shoppes at El Paso in Texas. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images
Holiday decorations fill the cart of a shopper at a New Jersey Walmart. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Crowds gather outside a Foot Locker store on Black Friday in New York City's Herald Square. Photo: David "Dee" Delgado/Bloomberg via Getty Images
It was shopping in shorts weather for deal-seekers in Naples, Fla. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Shoppers wait in line for Best Buy to open in Westminster, Colo. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

Record level consumer demand drops as high prices surge

Data: FRED; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Record levels of consumer demand are petering out as high prices cut into wages and add to household worries.

Why it matters: Shoppers will hold off on buying if goods get too expensive — a trend that if big enough could slow down economic growth.

America can't quit polarizing politicians

Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New data finds that the nation's most polarizing politicians are often the ones that garner the most attention online.

Why it matters: Online engagement helps politicians build a bigger national profile and more fundraising power, incentivizing them be more outrageous, more polarizing and more divisive.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
34 mins ago - Science

It's time to take reproduction in space seriously

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Before humans can settle off-Earth, scientists need to figure out how — or even whether — people can reproduce in space.

Why it matters: Powerful figures in the space industry like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have dreams of a future where millions of people live in space, which would naturally require a self-sustaining population of humans somewhere other than Earth.