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5 Things You Should Know on Black Friday: Nov. 23

A few facts, figures and tidbits before heading out with the other shoppers.

1. Weekend weather forecast:

  • Friday: Sunny. Milder. Highs in mid/upper 50s, low around 40.
  • Saturday: Mainly cloudy with a few rain showers. High near 50, evening low around 33.
  • Sunday: Mix of clouds and sun. High near 44, low around 31.

2. History of Black Friday: The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand and red ink indicated a loss, black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

3. Black Friday myth: Despite common belief, Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the year. It's not even in the top five, according to a posting on todayifoundout.com. So which day gets the prize? Typically, the last Saturday before Christmas results in the most sales nationwide, except for years when Christmas falls on a weekend—then it's the Thursday or Friday before the holiday. So, yes: The American procrastinator is more common than the early bird.

4. Black Friday facts: According to todayifoundout.com ...

  • Nearly 135 million people shop every year on Black Friday.
  • In 2010, 212 million shoppers spent $39 billion for an average spending amount of $365.34.
  • About 59 percent of typical Black Friday shoppers seek out sales on electronic devices, while 49 percent of shoppers look for DVDs and Blu-Rays. Forty-eight percent of shoppers go for clothing, 45 percent go for video games and 44 percent shop for computers. (Clearly, there's a lot of overlap there, so it seems many Black Friday shoppers shop for more than one type of item.)

5. Black Friday by the numbers: The following statistics come from parature.com ...

  • The National Retail Federation reports that 51.8 percent of U.S. consumers will be doing their holiday shopping online this year, up 5 percent from 2011.
  • According to a survey, 52.9 percent of smartphone owners and 64.1 percent of tablet owners will use their devices to do research and make purchases.
  • Shop.org forecasts that online holiday spending alone this year will amount to a whopping $92 to $96 billion.

Will you be out shopping this weekend? What items are you looking for? Why do you join the masses on Black Friday, or why do you stay home? Share your thoughts about Black Friday in the comments below.

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