For 13% of major U.S. brands, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year

NOTE: Bloomberg Second Measure launched a new and exclusive transaction dataset in July 2022. Our data continues to be broadly representative of U.S. consumers. As a result of this panel change, however, we recommend using only the latest posts in assessing metrics, and do not support referring to historical blog posts to infer period-over-period comparisons.

Kathryn Gessner and Brandon Liverence contributed to this report.

Black Friday has a longstanding reputation as the biggest shopping day of the year, but does it really live up to the hype? Turns out, especially for apparel companies, the answer is yes. Among 900 major U.S. brands, 13 percent had their best sales on Black Friday—and almost all of them were fashion retailers.

Black Friday’s for the clothes-minded

Seventy-two percent of the 116 brands that had their best sales on Black Friday were companies that sell clothing, shoes, and accessories. Tommy Hilfiger topped the list with Black Friday sales eight times above its 2016 daily average.

Rogue Fitness earned the twelfth spot on the list, the highest ranking for a non-fashion company. It sells fitness gear and apparel, items that also seem to be popular on another major shopping day.

Cyber Monday Shoppers Buy for the Home and the Heart Rate

Fitness companies stand out on Cyber Monday. Peloton, maker of high-end exercise bikes, earned the top spot, while third place went to rival bike-maker Flywheel Sports, which also offers classes in many studios around the country. These indoor cycles retail for nearly $2,000 and let riders join streaming-video classes. Peloton’s Cyber Monday sales were close to 13 times its daily average in 2016, and the company earned 3.5 percent of its yearly sales that day.

Creature comforts were also popular. Nest Labs, which is best known for its smart thermostats and other home-monitoring devices, ranks second on the Cyber Monday list. And two online mattress retailers, Leesa and Saatva, crack the top ten. But despite the popularity of these big-ticket items, Cyber Monday is not America’s second or even third-biggest shopping day.

Last-Minute Shoppers Love Dec. 23

After Black Friday, retailers cheer the most two days before Christmas. Six percent of brands raked in top dollars on Dec. 23, and more than one-third of those were grocery stores.

Anyone who cooks holiday meals probably isn’t surprised. Hosts and potluck guests alike spent big before Christmas, giving 22 major grocery chains their best sales of 2016. Alcohol emporium BevMo also saw sales peak on Dec. 23, quadrupling its average daily sales and keeping all those holiday gatherings merry and bright.

Grocery stores see a spike in spending on the day before Thanksgiving, too. That was the biggest sales day for 10 of them, including specialty grocers like Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and Costco.

And although only 1 percent of brands have their best sales on Christmas Eve, one seller on this list is especially notable. Amazon Prime Now—the service that delivers your purchases within hours of your order—had sales five times its daily average on Dec. 24. It’s the holiday solution for every Secret Santa who is almost too late.

What About Thanksgiving Day?

There are actually two companies that do more U.S. business on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year: Boston Market and The Cracker Barrel. And it doesn’t take long to figure out why. Both offer fully-prepared, take-home Thanksgiving dinner for 12 for a little over $100. It’s a bargain for holiday hosts who’d rather not spend all day in the kitchen.

Want to find out if Black Friday retains its crown as biggest sales day this year? Request a demo today>>