Black Friday by the Numbers

Are you reading this while standing in line at your local big box store? Or are you celebrating Buy Nothing Day and hunkering down for a relaxing day of leftovers and football?

Either way, you might be interested in a few facts about this day, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. that we call Black Friday. Here's Black Friday by the numbers:

Who's shopping

  • Number of Black Friday shoppers in 2010: 212 million
  • State that spends the most: Texas
  • Next biggest spenders: Connecticut, Hawaii, and California
  • City that spends the most: Austin, Texas
  • Runners up: Scottsdale, Arizona and San Jose, California
How early shoppers are lining up
  • Typical opening hours in 2010: 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Store opening the earliest in 2011: Toys R Us, at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day
  • Percentage who think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving Day: 87%
  • Consumers who believe retailers should give employees the day off for Thanksgiving: 61%
  • Percentage who would rather do anything but shop: 26%
  • Number of deaths related to Black Friday chaos and crowds: 1

How much people are spending

  • Amount the average American spent in 2010: $365.34
  • Projected amount to be spent today: $465.6 billion
  • Total amount spent in 2010: $45 billion
  • Gender that spends the most: Men, on average 3% more than women
  • Age group that spends the most: 50- to 65-year-olds

How many are going mobile

  • Total amount in online sales: $648 million
  • Number who will shop on their smartphone: 60 million
  • Number who will purchase directly from a mobile device: 21 million

What people are buying

  • Most popular purchases: Jewelry (purchased by 14.3% in 2010), electronics, toys, books, and gift cards
  • Holiday spending per person in 2010: $718 on holiday items, including $411 on gifts for family and $75 on gifts for friends
  • Percentage of consumers who believe retailers offer the best deals on Black Friday: 58%

All of us here at Get Rich Slowly are still in food comas from our Thanksgiving dinners. We'll be back with more great money tips on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle; National Retail Federation, Poughkeepsie Journal, PriceGrabber, CNN

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krantcents
krantcents

My wife is part of those numbers, but she has her plan, list and probably will spend less than $50.

Andy
Andy

I switched to shopping online 3 years ago and I’m never going back. Most of the deals are online, minus a few doorbusters, which I can do without to avoid the cold weather, the crowds, and the idiots who think trampling someone is worth it to save a few dollars on a TV.

Beth
Beth

Impressive. I can see why Canadian retailers are trying to borrow the tradition. A lot of the deals here have been for a few days or a week or this coming weekend, so that helps. (And it means I can observe Buy Nothing Day today too.)

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski

I just ordered a MacBook Air for my wife for $100 off regular price, so I guess I’m participating this year. Definitely not going to stores at midnight though, that’s just plain madness.

SAHMama
SAHMama

I got the freebie drugstore deals, the free after rebate OfficeMax deals and went to the craft stores to stock up on my craft supplies for the year. I did also stop by Old Navy to purchase the $1 fleece scarves to doctor up with my sewing supplies, and I got 3 new fleece shirts for myself. I did one online order from Kohl’s for clothing / shoes for our family. I spent about $40 on toiletries/groceries for our family (BF deals), $80 on clothes for our family (our annual clothing budget for our family is $400 for two adults… Read more »

Laura+in+Cancun
Laura+in+Cancun

They had a “Black Friday” copy here in Mexico last weekend… all the stores did was bring out their old plasma TVs and knock of a hundred bucks. Horrible.

Matt, Tao of Unfear
Matt, Tao of Unfear

I’ll be going out with a friend this evening for tea at a local teahouse. There won’t be any trips to any stores though.

A lot of my shopping has moved online, like a previous commenter mentioned. I don’t have a vehicle, so that’s generally the best way to get larger items home. Most of the shops in my area are way more expensive anyway, and not locally owned, so I don’t feel particularly guilty about not buying here.

John Reilly
John Reilly

“Projected amount to be spent today: $465.6 billion
Total amount spent in 2010: $45 billion”

Is there a typo in the above. It seems unlikely we went from 45b to 465b.

Becka
Becka

Wow, I find the 212M number a little unfathomable. Over 2/3 of the US population, the entirety of the US population age 14-65. Just seems like a lot more people stay home than that.

Marsha
Marsha

The number probably includes anyone who went shopping today for any reason. My son and I went to a couple of nearby stores this afternoon, so I guess we are technically “Black Friday” shoppers.

Alyssa
Alyssa

Whaaaa? Austin spends the most?! No way!

There are far too many non-consumerist hippies here to spend the most in the country. Maybe Houston or Dallas, but not Austin!

Dallas+saver
Dallas+saver

The population of Austin is also 1/3 that of Houston or Dallas. I suspect the reason Austin’s numbers are so high is the san Marcos outlet. It draws from a 400-mile area and is technically in the Austin MSA.

Chett Daniel
Chett Daniel

I would like to see a comparison on how much time the avg middle class family spends on research for black Friday deals, compared to how much time is spent researching investment and retirement decisions.

Steven
Steven

I opted out once again this year, and instead went rock climbing. Best idea ever!

Jason
Jason

I opted out this year…

….and worked. Oh well, better to make money than to spend it, right?

Jenn
Jenn

In a way you are correct that it is better to make money than spend it, however, every year I go Black Friday Shopping and I add up how much money I save and the money I save is always more than what I would have made if I had worked that day.

Janell
Janell

Does buying some soda count as contributing to BF?
Seriously, I have my spending planned at 2 small businesses tomorrow. Independent shops that could use the purchase.

Shop local!

Andrea
Andrea

NO shopping for us yesterday. we did go to the movies and ate dinner at a local(not a chain) restaurant. Not buying any electronics this year- some books at a local bookstore, making some scarves and hats but will probably buy some socks/underwear/pjs at Target

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Why shop at all? I just mean… why not question how this “holiday” has become all about spending money and buying things for people… it doesn’t mean you have to give up gift giving. But maybe think about it, question it a little. In our family, we have done so, and we have decided on some family traditions that make this time of year peaceful, meaningful, warm, joyful, etc. We like having a real Christmas tree. We like having homemade Christmas cookies. We like getting together with friends (parties). We like handmade (by ourselves) gifts, like personal stories, food, re-purposed… Read more »

Carla
Carla

I got a new HTC Droid Incredible 2 phone for $0 with zero crowds, zero wait at 2:30 in the afternoon on Black Friday. I learned a long time ago I don’t actually have to PAY for a really nice phone if I’m just patient. I also supported one small online business and purchased hair care products online at 50% off. I’m not into extremes; I would never spent time in line at a store at midnight, or spend absurd amounts of money on stuff. I’m not staunch it either; being mindful and careful is key – for me. I… Read more »

Squirrelers
Squirrelers

I planned (and posted on this) to spend zero on Black Friday. I actually did spend $15, but it was on things that were absolutely needed…and I got them at a great deal. No lines, no confusing wants/needs, no craziness. Mostly time with family instead:)

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

I used to be easily sucked into the belief that I had to buy a lot of stuff during the holidays. But I realized that was brainwashing. A couple of things I have done to break out of that are to throw away the ads that come with the newspaper (looking at them makes me start to want those things), I watch very little television, and I stay out of the shopping malls. By protecting myself in this way, I find that I really do not WANT the things in the first place, and I certainly do not miss them.… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole

I tried to do online shopping on Friday to get it out of the way (the end of the school year is crazy and if we don’t do it now, it won’t get done until ~Dec 23rd), but Amazon was having trouble accepting my order. 🙁

So really, more of Saturday shopping.

PB
PB

I am in the age of intergenerational shift, so gave to my visiting daughter, who is setting up her own household, two tablecloths, a bunch of napkins, some candles, Irish coffee glasses, and a sewing machine. I guess I bought myself some space! And we had a lovely visit while going through things.

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