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 10 Wild facts about Black Friday, the American shopping holiday

10 Wild facts about Black Friday, the American shopping holiday

Are you getting ready for our upcoming national holiday?

No, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving, but the real national obsession – shopping on Black Friday.

In fact, the term “Black Friday” had several uses over the years, but it was coined as a retail holiday sometime in the 1960s. From an accounting standpoint, it’s the day when stores and retailers went from being in the red (not profitable) to in the black (profitable).

But the idea of hitting the stores for great sales and shopping went all the way back to 1924, believe it or not, when Macys first launched their Thanksgiving Day Parade and encouraged consumers to visit their stores the following day.

Here are 10 interesting, unbelievable, and even bonkers facts about Black Friday:

1. Black Friday is the largest retail shopping day in the entire year, with 116 million Americans hitting the stores, clicking Buy online, or purchasing something on the day after Thanksgiving. 

2. For the whole post-Turkey Day weekend, 165 million Americans starting shopping, and 89 million people shopped both in stores AND online! (Wow, shopaholics!)

3. It’s no surprise that we LOVE to shop online these days, and Black Friday is no exception. In 2018, ecommerce sales hit $6.2 billion on Black Friday alone! In 2019, 61% of people polled say they’ll do their shopping online and in-store shoppers will drop almost 2%.

4. In 2019, the average shopper says that they’ll spend about $502 on Black Friday, which is up from $472 in 2018. (Baby Boomers are expected to spend the most at an average of $612.)

5. Of all the online transactions processed on Black Friday in 2018, 56.8% were on That’s insane! (Walmart was second.) 

6. Almost 60% of Black Friday buyers who are shopping online will do so from a smartphone this year, while that was only 40% in 2017 and 29% in 2016. 

7. For Black Friday coming soon in 2019, the top items purchase will be:

41% Clothing

38% Appliances and home goods 

32% Laptops, smartphones, tablets, TVs

30% Smart home gadgets and tech items

25% Toys

12% Experiences

8. Of course, the Black Friday shopping day is turning into a long weekend buying bonanza, with more and more stores open and consumers spending on Thanksgiving. And cyber Monday is actually the second-largest shopping day of the year behind Black Friday, with $7.9 billion in online sales.

9. Each year, the unruly and deal-thirsty crowds engage in pushing and shoving, outright-brawls, near-riots, plenty of arrests, and, tragically, deaths. In fact, there’s a website that tracks the annual deaths and injuries, which is up to 12 and 117 since 2016, respectively. 

10. According to a survey by RetailMeNot, 12% of all in-store Black Friday shoppers make purchases while under the influence of alcohol! That actually explains a lot!