In 2016, there were 101.7 million people who braved the crowds. That’s more than the 74 million in 2015.
In 2017, the number of people visiting stores on Black Friday and Thanksgiving fell 4 percent from 2016. At the same time, online sales rose 18% , according to Adobe Systems Inc. Sales hit a record of $7.9 billion. Forty percent of these purchases were done from mobile phones. Market research firm Criteo said that’s a 29% increase over last year.
In total, four-day Black Friday weekend was visited by almost as many people ( 137M ) as the last US presidential election ( 135M ).
The activity pushed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s net worth past $100 billion the day after Thanksgiving.Bezos’s fortune rose $32.6 billion this year through Thursday, the largest increase of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, this fortune represent 0.5% of the GDP of the United States.
The bump in spending does not appear to have instigated large declines in physical shopping. Retail research firm ShopperTrak says store traffic declined less than 1% this Black Friday, a smaller decline than initial projections. Fair weather aided bricks-and-mortar shops, according to the National Retail Federation, which will release 2017 holiday sales data on Tuesday.
Prior to the big event, Shopping.fm published a detailed infographic giving additional context to the importance of Black Friday, and includes a brief history of Black Friday, online versus offline statistics, mobile spending, 2016 numbers and Cyber Monday data. That infographic is included below.