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Black Friday’s Impact in 9 Numbers

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After you learn these facts and figures about Black Friday, you’ll want to make it as green as possible.

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.



National Retail Federation
National Retail Federation
Daily Finance
Green Business Watch

Will you be shopping on Black Friday? Share your plans in the comments below.

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About the Author
Jessica Harlan
Jessica Harlan
I love finding new ways to green my family's life as painlessly as possible, and sharing those ideas with folks who want to do the same. more
  • Nancy B. 5 years ago
    I had to add these suggestions for the BEST gifts you can give someone/anyone. Visiting nursing many there have no family. Shoveling a neighbors walk. Volunteering at shelters(human AND animal). Call a shut-in..sometimes just hearing "how are you?" can make someones day. Offer a ride to someone in need. Christmas is a time of miracles..let's all do our share of them be they big or small. They are ALL important!
  • Nancy B. 5 years ago
    No problem for me..I don't buy material gifts anymore..I give those whom are nearest & dearest to me cards in their name saying what organization I have gifted in their name (ie..the humane society, a tree farm(to replace a tree that has been cut), a homeless shelter, a food bank..something that truly helps our fellow man. Isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be about anyway? I also put ingredients to make my favorite cookie/fudge/dessert recipe in glass jars that I have saved. Everyone loves them :-)
  • Amy D. 5 years ago
    Never a Black Friday shopper! Sometimes Cyber Monday!
  • Pamela M. 5 years ago
    I was out for the first time ever on a black Friday just to be able to use a coupon at Bath and Bodyworks. It was packed, but it went smoothly and it was after 4pm. Nothing should be open other than a Hospital on the Holidays. Just my opinion.
  • Allison L. 6 years ago
    Have only shopped 1 yr for black Friday and don't plan to do it again...
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