Photos of shockingly empty stores prove that Black Friday as we know it is dead — but retailers still have a chance to dominate

  • Shoppers have posted photos of nearly empty Target, Walmart, and Best Buy locations on Black Friday.
  • In the past, stores have been overrun with hordes of shoppers.
  • This year, more people are shopping online, with more than $2.9 billion spent on Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe Analytics.

Black Friday as we know it is dead.

While some retailers managed to draw crowds and lines on Thanksgiving Day with Black Friday sales, other stores remained almost eerily empty as the holiday-shopping season kicked off.

However, that may not necessarily be bad news for companies banking on a profitable holiday season. On Thanksgiving Day, people spent $2.9 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics.

Here’s a look inside the shockingly empty stores this Black Friday.


Quite a few Targets seemed surprisingly empty, The Street’s Brian Sozzi noted.

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Twitter BrianSozzi

“Hmmm not what I expected,” the reality-TV star Tamra Judge posted on Instagram after visiting a Target in California. “First time ever Black Friday shopping. I was so excited to fight the crowds.”

Hmmm not what I expected . First time ever Black Friday shopping. I was so excited ???? to fight the crowds ????

A post shared by Tamra Judge (@tamrajudge) on


Part of the reason for empty stores could be chalked up to Black Friday sales kicking off on Thanksgiving Day.

Too much turkey before Black Friday shopping at target #Blackfriday #target #couplethings

A post shared by Isabel Biricik (@isabelbiricik) on


As one commenter on Judge’s Instagram post put it: “That ’cause that crowd was there yesterday at 6pm!!! They are all sleeping now.”

The things I do for Christmas #blackfriday #target #thisline

A post shared by apollo.crowned (@apollo.crowned) on


However, many shoppers may simply be shopping online instead of visiting physical stores.

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Twitter WCLordRay

Target said on Friday that it had received more than three times the number of orders through its Order Pickup service than it did on Thanksgiving last year — which could explain the empty stores.

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Twitter

Some Best Buys seem to be facing a similar situation.

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Twitter ScottGauth

Though crowds lined up outside the retailer on Thanksgiving, Black Friday seems more tranquil — at least at some stores.

Just looking for a DVD . . . . #bestbuy #blackfriday #thanksgiving #line #waiting #dvd

A post shared by Jason Sanderford (@jasonsanderford) on


There were also empty Walmart locations …

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Twitter BigMooseRadio

… as well as some empty Big Lots.

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Twitter marychaostyle

Shoppers spent $2.9 billion online on Thanksgiving — a 18% increase over last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

Source: Business Insider


Shoppers are expected to spend $107.4 billion online this holiday season, which would represent an increase of nearly 14% over last year, according to Adobe.

Source: Business Insider