With Black Friday recently passed and the holidays quickly approaching, the shopping season is well underway. This year, private equity firms did some hefty shopping of their own, investing in 60 U.S.- or Canadian-headquartered companies involved in the Retail industry. Those deals included the $2.69 billion acquisition of party goods retailer Party City by Thomas H. Lee Partners and the $1.05 billion buyout of bridal gown retailer David's Bridal by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. PE investors are also finding success selling or taking public retail-related companies. Although investments in the industry continue to far outpace exits, the exit count has been on an upward trend in recent years and, for the first time ever, has breached the 20-exit mark this year to sit at 22 exits for 2012 to date. All in all, PE investors have invested in 280 and exited 72 retail-related companies headquartered in the U.S. or Canada since the beginning of 2008, according to the PitchBook Platform.