People hit the stores as is customary on Black Friday, the traditional beginning of the shopping season for the Christmas holiday, but in far less numbers than usual.
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Slack Friday? Shops braced for record #blackfriday rush find little need for crowd control https://t.co/Cb3DjS4lOs pic.twitter.com/FAFxr5eFU0
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 25, 2016
Overall numbers may have been down, but there were still plenty of people out and about. Check out this
#blackfriday crowd here at #2581 #MA2016NOV25 pic.twitter.com/7O9M1PZAJ5
— HomeDepot Eldersburg (@2581homedepot) November 25, 2016
While most crowds were patient and pleasant, like this one at Panini America
Awesome crowd at the Exchange right now enjoying all the @PaniniAmerica #blackfriday goodness! pic.twitter.com/a7ZlJR4MYx
— Indy Card Exchange (@Ballcardxchange) November 25, 2016
There were, of course, still the horrific acts of unnecessary violence we’ve grown accustomed to seeing as people’s greed and frustrations leads to trouble. In New Jersey, a man was shot dead in a mall parking lot, while another person was killed fighting over a parking spot at a Walmart in Reno, Nevada.
While the smaller numbers at physical mall locations nationwide create speculation further economic trouble is ahead, the silver lining is shoppers finally appear to be trending towards opting online purchasing vs. braving the savings hungry crowds.
Retailers appear to be sensing the shift and more are frequently choosing safety and online marketing over long pre-opening lines. Many stores decided to close up shop instead of create crowd madness.
Macy’s website experienced glitches after being overwhelmed with traffic. More from Reuters:
By Thanksgiving evening, online spending by U.S shoppers reached $1.13 billion for the day, according to Adobe Digital Index, surging almost 14 percent from a year ago. Online sales for Friday were at $1.65 billion as of 1 p.m. EDT, the data showed.
Target Corp said on Thursday it had seen one of its “strongest days ever” online. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the largest bricks-and-mortar retailer in the United States, said Thanksgiving Day was “one of the of the top online shopping days of the year.”
That’s great news for severals reasons.
First, the economy appears to be holding steady and continuing the optimistic trend since the election victory by Donald Trump. The Dow Jones closed about 19,000 this week, the S&P 500 closed around 2,200 and NASDAQ over 5,300. All of those are record setting numbers.
Second, more online shopping means less chance of pointless yet commonplace violence on Black Friday. There’s nothing wrong with hustling for a bargain price, but when getting that price causes someone to obsess over saving a couple bucks on a TV so much they’re willing to harm someone else to get it – we’ve got problems.
Either way, given there’s an increasingly viable option (shopping at home in your pajamas online) to risk life and limb to battling insanely huge crowds all in hopes of saving a few bucks – it’s not surprising to see the numbers beginning to shift.
Let’s hope the trend continues.