Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey, pumpkin pie, giving thanks, and shopping. Getting a jump on the holiday season, many people flock to the stores on what has been dubbed "Black Friday" to get the best deal for their dollar. While the origin of this day is a bit murky, one thing is for sure: Black Friday is often the biggest shopping day of the year.

 

 

Spending

 

The name Black Friday comes from the theory that this is the day that many retailers go from being in the red for the year, to being in the black (or making a profit). It’s easy to see why. A study shows that between 2005 and 2014, the average Black Friday shopper spent between $302 and $432. Online sales have also proved to be lucrative for retailers. While in 2006, it was averaged that consumers spent $430 a minute; by 2014, this number had more than tripled to $1505 per minute. The draw to online is evident—consumers do not have to fight the crowds, and can instead stay at home in their pajamas while still shopping the sales.

 

 

Times

 

Most of this shopping takes place on Fridays; however, in recent years retailers have begun a new trend. Black Friday is no longer contained to the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers have begun having sales beginning on Thanksgiving. In 2007, most stores opened around 5AM on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Three years later, the average opening time was 3AM. Stores gradually began to open earlier and earlier to attract more consumers. By 2014, the average start time for sales was no longer on Black Friday; instead the average start time was at 5:43PM on Thanksgiving. It is projected that the average start time this year will be 4PM. These earlier opening times are responsible for giving Thanksgiving its new nickname, "Grey Thursday."

 

 

Hot Items

 

Electronics seem to the biggest sellers on Black Fridays. Whether it is a television, computer, or gaming system, these items crowd the front of retail sale flyers. Consumers race to these items to get the best deal. Some stores have even begun to print maps out for their customers, making locating these items easier. But electronics aren’t the only things that sell well—studies have shown that cookware is also a big seller.

 

 

Safety

 

With big crowds come injuries. Between 2006 and 2014, 86 injuries were reported during Black Friday shopping. Forty-six of these alone were in the year 2011. So when you are planning your routes for Black Friday (or Grey Thursday) this year, make sure that you are careful!