Is post-Thanksgiving shopping mayhem a fading American holiday tradition? This year, even as overall spending increased between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores reportedly fell by as much as 9 percent compared to 2017. That’s consistent with consumer trends since 2014, thanks to retailers widening the window for holiday bargains and more shopping migrating online.
A downturn in traffic appears to be accompanied by fewer of the fistfights, stampedes, and storefront brawls for which Black Friday is justly famous. Parking lot accidents tend to spike the day after Thanksgiving, USA Today reported in 2017, as do claims of thefts from homes and vehicles—presumably, fewer shoppers butting heads and bumpers would mean less of those, too.