Black Friday Shoppers Spent 5 Hours At The Mall, Says Foursquare

Black Friday shoppers spent an average of 4.9 hours out at brick-and-mortar shops, according to data from Foursquare. Long lines meant that each shopper only visited 2.8 stores.

The location-tracking service says it was also able to determine that Best Buy JCPenney, and Macy’s saw the biggest increase in foot traffic on the big day. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Authority rounded out the top five.

Foursquare says its numbers show that Black Friday foot traffic was down 2% from last year, or over 5% if grocery stores and auto dealer visits are excluded. The shift to online shopping is taking the biggest toll on apparel businesses, department stores, electronics retailers, toy stores and mobile phone stores.

“Since many retailers play well in both digital and physical shopping, strong omnichannel brands may still end seeing overall sales gains, but others will not be able to make up the gap,” said Foursquare COO Jeff Glueck in a statement.

In addition to increased online spending, part of the dip can be explained by a shopping season that’s more spread out. About 25% of the spending began on Thanksgiving because some retailers are starting sales early. Foursquare says “Super Saturday,” the Saturday before Christmas, was actually the busiest shopping day last year.


Foursquare, originally known for its location-based “check-ins,” has been focused on collecting data from Swarm and its name-bearing app these days.  The company says its data is used by Twitter, Apple and Microsoft.

The Black Friday stats come from Foursquare’s “Place Insights tool, which analyzes the masses of data and reveals where people go, based on the collective experiences of millions of mobile phone users,” CEO Dennis Crowley tells TechCrunch. “It’s a powerful way to understand cultural trends.”