Sales are up 3.6 percent over 2018, according to NRF.
2018 holiday sales grew 2.9 percent amid turmoil over trade policy and delay in data collection.
NRF forecasts retail sales will grow between 3.8 and 4.4 percent.
The immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed but retailers remain concerned.
Retailers hired 576,800 seasonal workers for holidays.
NRF sent a letter to the White House urging the administration to forgo the increase.
The average shopper spent $313.29 on gifts and other holiday items over the five-day period.
Fifty percent of consumers who own smartphones or tablets said they would use them to research their holiday purchases.
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