Black Friday Spending Statistics, Trends, and Fun Facts (US & UK)

While the holiday season may begin around Thanksgiving and end on New Year's Eve, one of the best days for deals and busiest shopping days of the season is Black Friday.

Sales are so high for Black Friday that the sales day has become a crucial day for stores and the economy in general with 30% of all the annual retail sales occurring in the time from Black Friday through Christmas making it the kick-off day for the busiest and most profitable season for many businesses.

IS BLACK FRIDAY STILL THE BUSIEST RETAIL SHOPPING DAY?

Year after year the numbers of Black Friday shoppers have steadily increased with 74 million in 2015 and 101.7 million in 2016.

While 2017 saw a 4% decline in Black Friday sales, the four-day weekend encompassing the now popular Thanksgiving Day Sales as well as the following Black Friday

weekend, saw an overall increase in both sales and the volume of shoppers.

When all days were calculated, 2017 ended up a whopping third higher than the year 2015 with a total of 137 million people taking part in shopping.

What Are The Most Popular Buys?

While many products will see a savings of anywhere between 20% and 60%, the average savings on Black Friday specials is 37%.

There are some items that are most commonly associated with Black Friday and many others that are not so widely advertised but perform increasingly well.

Mobile Phones

One of the 2017 top selling items for Back Friday were mobile phones with an estimated 40% of all online Black Friday shopping having to do with a cell phone purchases.

This puts the sales up 11% from 29% in 2016.

CLOTHING

Clothing has often been a top draw for shoppers with teen clothing and designer clothing topping the list.

Sales see an average of 35% to 40% off their clothing ranging from sweaters to shoes. One of the most popular items in recent years from some of the big box stores is pajamas.

While many shoppers may not make the trek out for a deal on pajamas, a lot of shoppers pick them up on the big day.

OFFICE SUPPLIES

Office supplies are discounted an average of 50%, making it one of the most popular shopping items of Black Friday and one of the best time to score some major deals.

Shoppers will often stock up on everything from heavily discounted flash drives, printers, ink, and other popular office needs.

TRAVEL

One of the places you will see some of the biggest savings on your Black Friday journey is with travel-related items.

This category will see an average of 60% discounts and focus on items such as luggage and travel conveniences.

WHAT ARE THE DEMOGRAPHICS to typical black 
friday shoppers?

Black Friday attracts a range of buyers from all age, gender, and income demographics.

Even though the face of shoppers may be broad, there are some groups that tend to represent a larger share of the Black Friday patrons.

  • While females still lead the pack in terms of Black Friday, males have been slowly closing the gap each year with 50.4 % of females being Black Friday shoppers and 45.1% being males.
  • When it comes to marital status, the statistics are even closer with widowers and divorcees leading the pack with 66.7% and 60.8% of their demographic participating in Black Friday shopping respectively. They are followed by married shoppers at 52.7% and single people at 45.1%
  • Millenials are continuing to close the gap when it comes to the age of most Black Friday shoppers with 53% participating in some part of the Black Friday shopping events. While Millennials top the list, Gen Xers come in a close second with 49.5% and Baby Boomers with 27%.
  • It comes as no surprise that those earning more intend to spend more on Black Friday sales with average spending of $1565.00 for those making between 150K and 300K and those making between 25K and 50K expecting to spend around an average of $414.
  • The five top states with shoppers planning to spend money on Black Friday sales include Georgia at 52%, Wisconsin at 51%, Illinois at 50%, Virginia at 48%, and New York at 47%.

WHAT ARE THE DEMOGRAPHICS to typical black 
friday shoppers?

With the rise of internet shopping, both online retail stores and large retail companies with online ordering are stepping up their internet Black Friday sales to get a piece of the growing market.

Within the 24 hours of Black Friday this recent year, online sales retailers sold over $5 billion, increasing online Black Friday sales 16.9% over the previous year.

Amazon, who is trying to position themselves as the forerunner for holiday shopping estimated that they sold over 200,000 toys in their first five hours of sales Black Friday.

Even with great advertising efforts to get shoppers to stay at home and shop from the comfort of their P.J.s, statistics show that while there has been an increase in online purchases, shoppers are still not ready to give up the thrill of the crowds and the amazing in-store deals at many of the brick and mortar locations.

When surveyed there was a wide response on whether shoppers shop exclusively in-store or online.

16%
Entirely in online stores
9%
shop entirely online
29%
shop mostly in stores but a little online
26%
say they shop both equally in-store and online

There are still many large retail chain stores such as Walmart and Best Buy that are encouraging in-store shoppers for Black Friday by offering specials that are available only in-store.


It seems like far ways off before shoppers will abandon brick and mortar stores but the continuing trend to push online sales is definitely seeing a decline in the expansion of retail storefronts.

FUN FACTS ABOUT BLACK FRIDAY YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW

  • The term Black Friday refers to stores going into the black - becoming profitable - for the season. This term was not widely used until the 1990's and was at first a term only used in the Philadephia area.
  • Black Friday didn't become the busiest shopping day of the year until 2001 when it became formally recognized. As the day became more popular banks and other businesses have begun to close.
  • Shoppers spend an average of $300 on Black Friday alone.
  • Millennials have become some of the biggest demographic for Black Friday with 53% of all millennials taking part in the shopping holiday. 5% of those surveyed said they have waited up to a year to purchase in anticipation of Black Friday sales.
  • Black Friday is also the busiest day for another industry - plumbers. Plumbing services often hit their busiest day the day after the Thanksgiving holiday often due to more guests in the house which leads to clogged drains.

IN CONCLUSION

While it appears that online retailers are gaining more of the share of Black Friday sales each year, brick and mortar retail still will continue to be a draw for all age shoppers looking to save a few bucks and score some deals for the holiday season.

Even though both online and physical stores will continue to share in the profits of Black Friday it does appear that the event will continue to evolve into a shopping weekend encompassing Thanksgiving Day through to Cyber Monday instead of the traditional one day only sale as store continue to open earlier into Thanksgiving and push their sales throughout the long weekend.