I had to run some post-Thanksgiving errands yesterday, aka Black Friday, the day we all must fear, the day on which we will all be trampled and punched in the face by everyone we come in contact with because we're all shopping for the exact same thing or something. I knew this. I just didn't care.
Imagine my surprise when every store I went into was practically empty, save for 15 salespeople looking at me like I had hundred dollar bills taped to my body and one of them might fall off at any moment.
Apparently, I wasn't alone —in that lots of other people who ventured out to shop on Black Friday found they were fairly alone because tons of people stayed home to do their shopping online.
According to IBM Corp. research unit Coremetrics, U.S. shoppers spent 20% more money online on Black Friday this year than last and 17% of those purchases came via mobile devices, which just meant more room for me to try on combat boots so I had no complaints about leaving the crowding to the internet —which actually became a thing!
Shoppers at Walmart and Toys R Us reported problems paying for items at their online checkout, which means people were eager to buy but presumably freaked the fuck out when they couldn't buy whatever this year's Tickle Me Elmo (that name still gives me the creeps) is in under 20 seconds.
Still, if you're someone who prefers the experience of actually shopping inside a retail location —and weren't in an area where Black Friday was far more insaaane— this might be good news for you. If everyone is staying home and ordering holiday gifts via their iPhones, that leaves you with pretty good odds of having salespeople treat you like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman —when Richard Gere makes that call that makes them nice to her, of course.
And even if you have barely have $20 to your name, that's a pretty nice feeling.