Thanksgiving and Black Friday by the numbers

Black Friday shoppers are expected to spend a whopping $602.1 billion this Friday. Here are some more numbers to put Thanksgiving and Black Friday in perspective: 

Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor/File
A Thanksgiving meal. 48 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving annually, according to

Black Friday is so close we can practically taste it! And there's nothing more exciting than having done our Black Friday research in advance: knowing which doorbuster deals to nab, which filler deals to avoid, and actually get to spend some time gearing up to go shopping during Black Friday store hours. But before we charge out the door on Thanksgiving, we want to pause for a minute and think about what this all adds up to. We've crunched some big numbers in the lead up to this major shopping event, and think this is a great space to talk about Black Friday by the numbers.

Projected Black Friday Overall Spending: $602.1 Billion

To put this figure in perspective: $602 billion is more than $10 billion spent per day for the entirety of the shopping season throughout November and December, and it exceeds the gross domestic product of Poland for one year. It also tops the GDP of the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Slovenia combined. The NRF, also estimates this total to be 3.9% more than consumers' total holiday spending in 2012. Looks like Santa will need a much bigger sleigh this year! 

Average Amount Spent on Gifts: $646

Accenture estimates that this holiday season, people will spend 11% more on gifts than they did last year. This may be due in part to folk's heightened interest in Black Friday itself — it's reaching its highest level in five years.

Shoppers Who Won't Wait Until Black Friday to Shop: 38%

In the 2013 version of the sequel to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, the whole Peanuts gang goes shopping! In fact, 4 in 10 shoppers will start their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day, rather than on Black Friday itself. What's more, 41% of Thanksgiving Day shoppers will be out filling their carts between 6 pm and 5 am on Black Friday.

Projected Black Friday Weekend Online Sales: $82 Billion

As online retailers continue to grow their market share the rest of the year, they'll also have a banner season in the weeks ahead. projects that online holiday sales will rise 13% to 15% over 2012, to as much as $82 billion. Part of the jump can be attributed to mobile devices, as more consumers turn to smartphones and tablets to land a bargain, and more retailers are prepared to meet them there. You do have your DealNews Black Friday app downloaded and ready to go, right?

Projected "Green Monday" Spending: $1.275 Billion

You've no doubt heard of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Return Stuff Wednesday ... but Green Monday? eBay coined the term back in 2007 or so to refer to the second Monday in December, which tends to be a very busy day for online retailers. In 2012, shoppers spent $1.275 billion on Green Monday, up 13% over 2011 and ranking as the third heaviest online spending day of the year, according to comScore. And like our other projections, these numbers are expected to climb even higher this year.

Thanksgiving Turkeys Eaten: 48 Million

You may be asking what turkey consumption has to do with Black Friday. But have you ever tried going shopping on a regular day on an empty stomach? Fortunately, shoppers are mostly well fed pre-Black Friday: turkey consumption continues to rise with more than 48 million turkeys eaten on Thanksgiving.

Shoppers Who Find Black Friday Fun: 57%

In one of the most bizarre Black Friday numbers ever generated, out of 460 consumers with an average age of 33, more than half found Black Friday crowds more energizing than aggravating. For the remaining 43% who thought the in-store experience was annoying, we hear you. Indeed, that's what online shopping's for.

And whether you're braving the midnight sales, or shopping from the comfort of your laptop or smartphone, remember to pace yourself. There will be a few online doorbusters, and you've got a whole four weeks to shop before Christmas. And since we here at DealNews still believe every day is like, you can will find some great deals throughout the season.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Thanksgiving and Black Friday by the numbers
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today