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Cutting into Amazon’s dominance, U.S. retailers see victory on Black Friday

Brick-and-mortar retailers did enough things right on Black Friday to consider the event a success, even if the crowds of past years haven’t returned.

Chains simplified promotions this year and took a keener eye to managing their inventory. At Wal-Mart Stores Inc., colour-coded maps helped shoppers navigate the aisles. Retailers also made headway with their e-commerce sites, aiming to chip away at Amazon.com Inc.’s dominance online.

Taken together, the changes may help bolster sales and profit margins — despite a decline in customer traffic at many locations.

“People think retail is a nightmare, but it’s not,” said Tracy Ferschweiler, a Wal-Mart market manager who oversees seven stores around New York and New Jersey.

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