For Gretchen Manmiller of Fleetwood and her daughter Victoria, a freshman at Fleetwood High School, Black Friday capped 12 hours of shopping on Thursday night and Friday morning that produced a windfall: $3,000 worth of gifts and goods that, thanks to holiday deals, cost them only about $1,000.
Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, this year Black Friday falls on Friday November 25, 2016 What is the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
These brands are mimicking a consumer shift away from mass consumption, said Giesler.
Once fringe activist movements like Buy Nothing Day - an anti-consumerism protest held on the same day as Black Friday - have seeped into the mainstream as more people embrace minimalism and choose conscious consumption. "With many consumers on the road, or with family, we're seeing record traffic numbers to retail sites from the smartphone, as well as revenue".
Still, she believes the shopping spree remains popular, especially online.
U.S. shoppers had splurged more than $1.52 billion online by evening time on Thanksgiving.
When its anchor store, Target, opened at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, I went to see for myself how the crowds compared with what I remembered from those on Black Fridays past in my childhood in the 1990s.
Anticipating vast profit, retailers began to open their stores as early as 6 a.m. and in 2011 Black Friday reached another level when stores were open at midnight. "But I may go to Amazon, I may go to Nest or to Ecobee to buy myself a little bit of technology".