From The AP:
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recorded its biggest shopping day of the year on Friday, not Saturday as it had expected, the vice chairman of the world's largest retailer said on Tuesday.
John Menzer, who heads Wal-Mart's U.S. division, said more people than expected took Friday off from work and headed to stores to pick up last-minute gifts.
Demand for gift cards was particularly strong, and stores raced to display new merchandise by Monday morning to take advantage of customers redeeming those cards.
"We were expecting to have huge gift card sales," he said in a telephone interview. "It has even exceeded our expectations."
Of course, when you buy gift cards, you are loaning Wal-Mart, or any retailer, money interest free.