Black Friday has been dethroned — there’s a new biggest shopping day of the year

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Shoppers at Macy’s on Black Friday.
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Donald Traill/AP

Black Friday is about to lose its title as the biggest shopping day of the year, according to a new report.

The holiday, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving every year, has historically triggered a massive shopping frenzy in stores and online as retailers offer steep discounts ahead of the critical holiday season.

But Black Friday isn’t expected to draw the kind of crowds this year that it has in the past, according to RetailNext, a firm that tracks retail shopper traffic.

Instead, the biggest shopping day of the year will fall on Friday, December 23, the firm predicts.

The significance of Black Friday has waned in recent years as retailers have started launching their post-Thanksgiving sales earlier, with many now starting them on Thanksgiving Day, said Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext.

Meanwhile, retailers’ promotional activity has increased year-round, making Black Friday sales stand out less than in years past.

Sales on Black Friday fell 12%, to $10.2 billion, last year compared with the previous year, according to ShopperTrak.

“As retailers have continued the trend to open more stores on Thanksgiving Day, it has pilfered away both sales and traffic from Black Friday,” Kohan said in a statement. “This year, with Christmas falling on a Sunday, most shoppers will want to cut short their shopping early on Saturday, December 24, leaving the day before, Friday, as retail’s biggest opportunity for sales.”

Black Friday will still draw huge crowds, however. RetailNext expects it to be the second-biggest shopping day of the year behind December 23 in terms of shopper visits.

These will be the biggest shopping days of the year, according to RetailNext:

Top 10 biggest shopping days (sales):

Friday, December 23 Super Saturday, December 17 Black Friday, November 25 Thursday, December 22 Wednesday, December 21 Sunday, December 18 Saturday, December 24 Saturday, December 10 Friday, December 16 Saturday, December 3

Top 10 busiest shopping days (shopper visits):

Super Saturday, December 17 Black Friday, November 25 Friday, December 23 Saturday, December 10 Monday, December 26 Sunday, December 18 Saturday, December 24 Thursday, December 22 Wednesday, December 21 Saturday, December 3