SHOP TIL YOU DROP

Black Friday: A look back at one of America’s most chaotic holiday traditions

After the Thanksgiving turkey is cleared from tables across the US, millions of shoppers will line up at malls and big box stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy for the pre-dawn shopping bacchanal known as Black Friday.

It’s long been thought of as the “biggest shopping day of the year,” but its importance may be waning as consumers choose to stay home and shop online, and retailers are offering deals spread around the holiday season, sometimes even before Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, for many it’s still an event worth fighting turmoil and anarchy for.

If these chaotic scenes might be a bit too much to handle on a full stomach, perhaps you should just go for a walk.

Black Friday Sales
Shoppers run through the doors of a Walmart store in Oakland, Calif. in 2008. (Reuters/Kimberly White)
Black Friday Sales
Shoppers make their way into an Old Navy store at Concord Mills Mall in Concord, North Carolina in 2008. (Reuters/Chris Keane)
Black Friday Sales
A line outside a Target in South Portland, Maine in 2014. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Black Friday Sales
Shoppers wait in the checkout line during a Black Friday sale at Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas City, Kan. in 2009. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Black Friday Sales
The crowd outside of a Macy’s in Atlanta, Georgia in 2013. (John Amis/AP Images For Macy's)
Black Friday Sales
A packed mall in Brea, Calif. in 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Black Friday Sales
Best Buy employees rally after a pep talk at a store in Overland Park, Kansas in 2013 (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Black Friday Sales
Customers enter a store in Harlem, New York City in 2014. (John Minchillo/AP Images for Target)
Black Friday Sales
People waiting for a Macy’s in Atlanta, Georgia to open for Black Friday in 2013. (Paul Abell/AP Images for Macy's)
Black Friday Sales
Customers shop at Macy’s flagship location in New York City in 2011. (Reuters/Eric Thayer)
Black Friday Sales
A man pushes a flat-screen television inside a Best Buy in San Francisco, Calif. in 2012. (Reuters/Stephen Lam)
Black Friday Sales
A crowd of shoppers at a Target in Burbank, Calif. in 2012. (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)
Black Friday Sales
People sort through boxes of shoes in Macy’s flagship New York City location in 2014. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly)
Black Friday Sales
A woman sleeps after shopping at the Dadeland Mall in Miami, Florida, in 2008. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
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