Now that families nationwide have filled up on Thanksgiving feasts, hordes of people have headed out Black Friday shopping. As one of the biggest shopping days of the year, we’re taking a look at the insane number of people planning to go out and spend money today.
According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 166.3 million people plan on holiday shopping this year between Black Friday (November 25th) and Cyber Monday (November 28th). The federation reports this number is up nearly 8 million compared to 2021’s statistics.
Still, with poor weather soaking regions across the country, Black Friday crowds were significantly smaller than expected Friday morning.
Reuters reports stores including Target and ToysRUS saw thin crowds Friday morning. Jimena Silva, a Target employee in Raleigh, North Carolina said the store’s self-checkout lines were surprisingly slow this morning.
“Only about 20 people have come through self-checkout, so far,” she said. The outlet states her observation covered the early hours of the day between 6 and 8 a.m. Farther north, a ToysRUS in New Jersey was so dead, an employee was seen passing out flyers with various sales.
Meanwhile, shoppers heading online can expect some major deals. Per the news outlet, Amazon, which is currently battling a workers’ strike on the global level, offered discounts on Thanksgiving Day reaching 29%. The rates represent a 6% increase which, in total, has driven up sales 3% to $7.1 billion.
Amazon Workers Stage Global Strike on Black Friday
As stated, Black Friday represents one of Amazon’s biggest shopping days of the year. However, with sales and profits both up this early in the holiday season, an international workers’ strike promises to wreak havoc on that revenue.
Amazon employees around the globe took to the streets on Friday in demand of better wages and working conditions. Nations involved in the strike include Japan, Australia, India, the United States, and the UK. Union members within the UK have spoken out about their demands and why they’ve gone on strike this Black Friday.
GMB union, which represents hundreds of Amazon employees, headed some of the protests in the UK. GMB’s senior organizer, Amanda Gearing, declared her and other workers’ grievances with the internationally renowned company.
“We are here today to tell Amazon [that] if you want to keep your empire going, talk to GMB to improve the pay and conditions of workers.”
She added, “Amazon workers are overworked, underpaid and they have had enough.”
The union’s Black Friday protest could have a severe impact on participating employees though. The Guardian reports Amazon offered workers a two-part bonus. However, receipt of the second part is dependent upon the employees’ attendance at work during the holiday season. The bonus, which was offered to tens of thousands of employees, will not go to workers that partake in “unauthorised absences” between the dates of November 22nd and Christmas Eve.