or hordes of dedicated bargain hunters, getting up early to deal hunt on Black Friday is as much a holiday tradition as turkey and family dysfunction. But reports indicate that in-store sales have been "dreary" in recent years, as holiday shoppers increasingly go online to look for bargains on the day after Thanksgiving and the so-called "Cyber Monday" that follows. (Watch a local report about Target on Black Friday.) Here, a by-the-numbers guide to the evolving holiday-sales adventure:
Year the phrase "Black Friday" was coined; it originally referred to a catastrophic stock market crash
Year the phrase "Cyber Monday" was coined by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org as a "gimmick to jump-start online sales in the holiday season"
Online sales revenue generated on Cyber Monday in 2009, a 5 percent increase over the previous year — matching the record for the "heaviest online spending day" ever (December 9, 2008)
Online sales revenue generated on Black Friday in 2009, a 10 percent increase over the previous year
Online sales revenue generated on Thanksgiving Day itself last year, an 11 percent increase from the previous year
Number of people who plan to shop in stores this Black Friday weekend, according to a preliminary survey by the National Retail Federation (though more than half say they will wait to see if the price reductions are worth fighting the crowds and cold)
The amount e-commerce spending is expected to rise this year, as more shoppers shun brick-and-mortar stores and shop online, according to New York's eMarketer research firm
Number of U.S. households with broadband access in 2009 according to census data
U.S. households with internet access in 2001
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- Why conservatives see rural America as the 'real' America
Subscribe to the Week