Retailers expect a big turnout for Black Friday, but experts doubt the momentum will hold up through the entire holiday-shopping season. About 52% of consumers in the U.S. expect to get out to the stores, a significant increase from last year's 42%, according to consulting firm Accenture. But the crowds mostly will be people looking for big discounts, said Pam Danziger chief of retail consultancy Unity Marketing. "It's not about shopping to find gifts," she said. "It's about shopping to get really attractive discounts."

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