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Black Friday: Caution Holidays Are Closer Than They Appear!

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 25: Shoppers skip the lines and shop in peace on Black Friday with eBay mobile app while enjoying free treats from the Sweetery food truck – in Herald Square, NYC on November 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for eBay)

“Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.” ~ Unknown

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Comfortable shoes, check, sleeping bag, check, warm clothing, check — you are now ready to camp out on the sidewalk to be first in line for the big Black Friday bargains at your favorite retailer. According to a National Retail Federation survey, 31.2% of shoppers arrived at the stores by 5:00am on Black Friday last year. I’m guessing that 68.8% of husbands stayed in bed.

For me personally, I can’t imagine the product or price that would entice me to give up my nice, warm, comfortable bed to sit on cold hard concrete waiting for a store to open. I firmly believe I am in the 68.8% in that position.

Black Friday Numbers

  • How many shoppers visited at least one department store last year? 49.4%
  • How many shoppers saved by going to a discount store? 43.2%
  • How many shoppers tried and outlet store? Only 7.8%
  • Electronics are always a big item. 29%
  • As a kid I hated getting clothes. 22.9% will buy clothing for gifts
  • For those who don’t want to camp out – online shopping last years was 28.5% on Black Friday weekend.
  • Number of shoppers hitting the stores on Black Friday? 135 million
  • How did shoppers spend last year? $39 billion—Avg. Spent $365.34
  • How much do shoppers spend on Black Friday? Over $20 billion.

Other Fun Shopping Facts

Black Friday does not take care of all Christmas shopping for the average consumer. Only 46.7% (my wife) have all the shopping done and gift-wrapping done by the second week in December. I, on the other hand, fall into the busiest hour of the holiday shopping season. That is between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00 PM on Christmas Eve.

Black Friday may be the largest dollar-shopping day of the year, but not even close to the busiest. That distinction belongs to the last Saturday before Christmas when everyone is picking up gifts for whomever they forgot or looking for a different size.

Some Final Thoughts

My wife and I do venture out to the stores on Black Friday. It’s not necessarily a shopping day for us. We go out to get in the Christmas spirit. The energy and electricity in the air gets us in the mood and we also get some good gift ideas for each of us. We like the Main Mall and downtown stores for inspiration. The Christmas Stroll the following week gives us the fuel to survive the following three weeks. So if you do venture out today by all means support your local merchants. Go ahead and overspend — it’s only money.

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