114M shoppers expected in stores across US on Black Friday, research shows

More people browse, shop for holidays earlier since pandemic, experts say

Black Friday is a beloved holiday tradition for some, and a day to avoid at all costs for others. Either way, it is the busiest shopping day of the year.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Black Friday is a beloved holiday tradition for some, and a day to avoid at all costs for others. Either way, it is the busiest shopping day of the year.

An estimated 114 million people plan to shop this year, part of the 166.3 million planning to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

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“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said.

For many stores, the season of sales has already started. Instead of one day of deals, most retailers have discounts in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and on the days that follow.

Big-box stores like Best Buy, Kohl’s, Walmart and Target, that chose to close on Thanksgiving back in 2020, seem to have made that decision more permanent. Most choose to promote deals online and then open early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving.

The shift to online sales is a sign Black Friday is changing. For most shoppers, there’s no need to wait in line.

Research from the NRF shows 60% of holiday shoppers started browsing and buying in early November, similar to trends seen in 2020 and 2021. Before the pandemic, only 56% of people purchasing holiday gifts started shopping at that time.

“While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it is up from only 11% a decade ago.”

The following list shows many stores that will open early on Black Friday in 2022, according to BlackFriday.com:

  • Academy Sports + Outdoors
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.
  • Bass Pro Shops
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.
  • Belk
    • Opening time: 7 a.m.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • Best Buy
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.
  • Big Lots
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • GameStop
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.
  • Home Depot
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • JCPenney
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.
  • Kohl’s
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.
  • Lowe’s
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • Macy’s
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • Michaels
    • Opening time: 7 a.m.
  • Target
    • Opening time: 7 a.m.
  • Ulta
    • Opening time: 6 a.m.
  • Walmart
    • Opening time: 5 a.m.

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About the Author:

Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.