Black Friday. For me, it’s a day that strikes a bit of dread in my heart. It’s the day that I won’t be able to get within five miles of our local malls without sitting in traffic, the day that the toy store starts running out of the hot toy that my daughters absolutely must have, and the day that means the rest of the year is going to speed by in a blur. And of course, it’s a day that a lot of greenhouse gases are emitted by cars gridlocked near the malls, and extra energy is used by retailers as they stay open extra hours.
It’s also an interesting cultural phenomenon. Did you know that one year, retailers managed to pressure President Franklin Roosevelt to move Thanksgiving up by a week so they’d have a longer holiday selling season? A hot issue in recent years is that Black Friday is actually encroaching onto Thanksgiving itself, with major retailers opening on Thanksgiving evening with door-buster sales.
Let’s look at the numbers about this official kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.
1924: The year experts agree was the first Black Friday, which was also the first year of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
4.1: The percentage the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase this year (to $616.9 billion) in November and December.
1: The number of days that the shopping season is longer between Thanksgiving and Christmas days, compared to last year.
2018: The next year with the longest shopping season, when Thanksgiving Day falls on November 22.
92 million: The number of people who shopped on Black Friday in 2013. Forty-five million people shopped on Thanksgiving Day.
24: The percentage of online sales during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday last year that were made from smartphones and tablets.
25: The percentage of Americans in a survey who said they never miss or usually visit at least one store on Black Friday.
$99: The price Sams Club is offering the Apple iPhone 6 this year as part of its Black Friday door-buster deals.
50: The factor by which Black Friday’s environmental impact, in terms of greenhouse gases, is worse than Cyber Monday’s, according to a 1999 study.
Black Friday is a huge deal (pun intended) for the environment! That’s why it’s important to try making it a “Green Friday” too.