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The Most Crowded Stores to Avoid on Black Friday, New Research Shows

It might be difficult to find what you need at these spots.

Black Friday is known for two things: savings and crowds. Every year, millions of hopeful shoppers line up at their local stores to snag doorbuster deals on everything from electronics and appliances to beauty products and clothing. Of course, some crowds are more significant than others, especially as stores increase measures to keep things safe for shoppers and staffers. That's why we went straight to the data to learn which places you might want to avoid. Here, find the stores most likely to be packed on Black Friday.

RELATED: The Worst Items to Buy on Black Friday, According to Retail Experts.

Most shoppers want to visit these stores.

Niles, Illinois, United States - February 21, 2023: Front entrance of a Walmart store located in a Chicago suburb.

In a recent survey, Pissed Consumer asked 2,970 people their plans for this year's Black Friday, which falls on Nov. 24. They found that 67.4 percent of people plan to sit out this year's sales. However, there were a few stores that shoppers were most interested in—and you might want to skip them if you're not a fan of crowds.

According to the survey, 45 percent of consumers plan to shop with Walmart on Black Friday, which means if you visit your location, you might be in for some chaos. Twenty-one percent said they'd shop at Target, 20 percent at Best Buy, and 15 percent at Kohl's.

These numbers are for people who plan to shop in person or online—so you'll have to venture to each store to get a real sense of its crowds. An encouraging number: The research learned that 41 percent of shoppers plan to do things digitally.

The survey also found that 64.3 percent of people plan to shop with Amazon, but since it's online only, you won't have to worry about lines.

RELATED: 10 Major Stores Closed on Thanksgiving This Year: Walmart, Costco, and More.

Overcrowdedness is a big reason people skip Black Friday.

people lining up to get into store

After learning that more than half of consumers planned to sit out Black Friday this year, Pissed Consumer aimed to discover why. The second-biggest reason people cited was overcrowding (19 percent of respondents). The top reason was "I shop when I need to," which accounts for 21 percent of people.

Interestingly, 30 percent of people planned to pass due to mistrust of retailers, with 15 percent saying "retailers manipulate" and 14 percent saying "retailers raise prices [ahead of the sale]." Others noted the high stress of shopping on such a busy holiday (7 percent) and high inflation rates (6 percent).

RELATED: Walmart Is Changing Store Hours Across the Country, Starting Friday.

This is what people are looking for.


The researchers also dove into what items shoppers were looking for on Black Friday. Coming in first was electronics, with 25 percent of shoppers seeking discounts in the category. You should expect bigger crowds if you're looking in that department.

Next came clothing and footwear (18 percent), toys and games (9 percent), and home appliances (7 percent).

People were least excited to shop for home decor (5 percent), gift cards (4 percent), equipment (4 percent), jewelry and accessories (3 percent), and furniture (3 percent). If you're searching for one of those items, you might not have to deal with as many shoppers.

RELATED: Walmart and Target Have a Secret Hiding Spot for Clearance Items.

Shoppers have high expectations of Black Friday.

men at a best buy talking
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Although there might be fewer Black Friday shoppers this year than in the past, there are still those who wouldn't miss it. Forty-two percent of respondents said they would shop the holiday because of the can't-miss deals, and 13 percent said they go because it's tradition.

But when shoppers get to the store, they expect major savings. Seventeen percent of respondents in the Pissed Consumer survey said it would take a sale of 70 to 90 percent to convince them to shop. Thirty-six percent said it would take discounts of 50 to 70 percent, and 29 percent said they need a 25 to 50 percent deal.

Of course, this isn't great news if you plan to shop at any of the aforementioned popular retailers. Walmart has already listed deals up to 80 percent off, and Target has deals up to 50 percent off.

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Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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