Is Black Friday losing its relevance? Foot traffic in stores this year is expected to fall by about 3.5 percent on Black Friday compared to last year, according to data from the location tracking service Foursquare. Last year, about 102 million shoppers hit stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, down from 147 million in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation.
That doesn't mean people aren't shopping during the holidays anymore. They just aren't saving their purchases for Black Friday, and many are choosing to shop online, rather than in stores. And they're shopping and spending more than ever.
Combining foot traffic in stores and shopping online, about 137.4 million people are expected to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend. That's up from 135.8 million who shopped over the long weekend last year. Overall spending during the holiday period is expected to increase 3.6 percent over last year, to $655.8 billion.