Shops and stores across the US and online will today be marking Black Friday, an annual retail bonanza where millions of shoppers are lured by massive savings.
Traditionally falling the day after the country's Thanksgiving celebrations, it also signals the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Here to help you get into a suitable bargain-hunting frenzy are our pick of incredible shopping-related world records.
Where better to start than with the world’s best-selling book – Guinness World Records. The most Guinness World Records books sold by a retail chain in 24 hours is 44,647 and was achieved by Wal-Mart at various locations across the US on 27 November 2009. The feat was achieved during their 'Black Friday Doorbuster' promotional sale.
Discount department store chain Walmart name is synonymous with Black Friday which marks the firm’s busiest shopping day of the year. With 8,970 outlets spread across fifteen countries, branded under 15 different names, Walmart is the world's largest retail company. It employs over two million workers with total assets reaching US$ 180.663 billion (then approx. £115 billion) in 2011.
In terms of revenue, Amazon (USA) is the world’s largest online store, with net sales in 2012 of $61.09 billion (£37.78 billion). Founded in 1994, the store employs 88,400 people and has a market value of $119 billion (£73.6 billion).
Spare a thought for all those working behind the till on Black Friday. One person who surely wouldn’t have a problem dealing with all those bargain hunters is Okan Bayindir from Turkey. Quick fingered Okan managed to achieve the world record for fastest time to scan and bag 12 shopping items with a time of 2 minutes 13 seconds at the Forum in Istanbul in February 2010.
Fashionistas will also be out in force today for clothing bargains. The world’s best-selling brand of clothing is Levi Strauss & Co. Selling under the Levis, Dockers and Slates brands in more than 30,000 retail outlets in 100 countries, the company's sales totalled $4.1 billion (£2.6 billion) at the end of November 2002.
The largest department store is the Shinsegae Centumcity Department Store in Busan, South Korea. The store covers an area of 293,905 m² (3.16 million ft²) and opened in June 2009. As well as housing floors of designer names, the Shinsegae structure also contains a spa, a roof garden and an impressive 60-tee golf driving range. Despite its size, it doesn’t hold the record for the highest annual department store revenue – a record that still remains with the London shopping institution that is Harrods. The Knightsbridge store took a whopping £ £1.01 billion ($1.63 billion) for the year ending 29 January 2011. The iconic department store – the largest in Europe – was acquired by Qatar Holdings in 2010 for a reported £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion).
The world’s largest shopping centre is the Dubai Mall, located within Downtown Dubai, UAE, which covers 1,124,000 m² (12.1 million ft²).
Consisting of four levels and with an internal floor area of 548,127 m² (5.9 million ft²), it comprises 350,244 m² (3.7 million ft²) of gross leasable area with 1,200 retail outlets and over 160 food and beverage outlets. Construction began in 2004, with the mall opening its doors on 4 November 2008. The mall includes an aquarium, an Olympic-size ice rink and a 22-screen cineplex.
The world's first shopping mall was at Trajan's Forum in ancient Rome, Italy. Designed by architect Apollodorus of Damascus and built between 100–112, the forum included a market area with 150 shops and offices arranged over six gallery levels.
The world's largest parking lot can hold 20,000 vehicles and is situated at former holder of the record for the world's largest shopping centre, West Edmonton Mall, in Alberta, Canada. The parking area can hold 20,000 vehicles, with overflow facilities on an adjoining lot for an additional 10,000 cars.
Finally, many eager shoppers would probably appreciate having one of these at their disposal today. Created by Migros Ticaret A.S in Istanbul, Turkey, this is the world’s largest shopping trolley.
Measuring 16.60 m (54.46 ft) in height from ground to handle, with the wheels 1.20 m (3.93 ft) in diameter, it took one month to create the cart in 2012. Ten tons of iron were used in its construction, with the super-sized trolley able fit 250 regular sized carts inside.