Editor’s note (28 November): As the beancounters add up total sales around the world, BBC Capital will update this story with new figures.
With Thanksgiving turkeys cooked, carved and consumed, holidaymakers are setting their sights on a new pastime — shopping.
The holiday traditionally kicks off pre-Christmas spending, which churns billions of dollars through the US economy and tides some retailers over for the rest of the year.
Historically, Black Friday has marked the last pay day before Christmas and has become the biggest shopping event in the US. Retailers offer hefty discounts — attracting throngs of bargain-hunters, as well as headlines the world over.
The day has been marred by crowds and violence in the US in previous years and more recently the UK has also been swept up by Friday fever — last year police were called to supermarkets throughout the country as sales turned ugly.
Huge in-store crowds may be waning, as shops spread bargains out over the holiday weekend and consumers increasingly move online.
Even so, shoppers are expected to part with billions in coming days — see below for some of the massive numbers of the day.
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