BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Shoppers came out in stronger force than protesters as the holiday sales season kicked off for Wal-Mart Stores, the retailer here said. The company reported its “best ever” Black Friday sales event, serving 22 million customers as sales began Thanksgiving night. And despite warnings that employees might walk off the job as part of union-backed protests, Wal-Mart said there were just 26 protests at its stores Thursday, “and many of them did ...

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