Black Friday Body Count: How To Make Shopping Less Miserable Today, According To Google

This comes my way a little too late to be of much help this year, but if you’re the planning type, it could be good information to keep on hand for 2016.

The people at Google crunched some data as the people at Google are fond of doing, and came up with some advice for taking some of the misery out of doing your Black Friday shopping out in the world. To me this is the most interesting part of Gizmodo’s recap of their findings.

While the popular image of Black Friday is a mob banging on the gates to get into a store at 5AM, Google found that foot traffic actually tends to peak in the afternoon for the majority of stores. 2 to 4pm is the worst time to be out shopping, so it advises being there either super-early or arriving for the evening shift, when most of the pushers and shovers have gone home.

And because many stores now open on Thanksgiving Day, Google says that department stores have seen a huge rise in foot traffic on Thanksgiving Eve–especially between 6-7pm.

The 2 to 4 part seems to somewhat fit what I noticed this year. In years past I’ve been flooded with riot footage at the start of the day, but today it didn’t start trickling in until the afternoon. Granted it takes time for things to start spreading around, but it shows that either more people are opting to stay home or that, as Google is suggesting, the troublemakers aren’t out as early anymore.

And please, stop going out to shop on Thanksgiving. You’re only encouraging them. I know you like electronics, but the slave wage people who work at the department stores like turkey and time off too, you know.

Speaking of electronics, the article also notes that believe it or not, most stores don’t do crazy high traffic on Black Friday. That distinction instead goes to the Saturday before Christmas. The exceptions to this rule are cell phone and electronics stores, which see foot traffic double in the case of electronics and increase by 1.5 times what’s normal the rest of the year for cell shops.

So if Google is correct, what we can take from this is that folks who shop at proper electronics stores may be more civilized than those who search out their games and televisions at Walmart, which isn’t all that surprising once you start poking around the site here for a few minutes and noticing where most of the videos come from.

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