CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — A light-hearted study on Black Friday by a clothing retailer may actually show a correlation between participation in the holiday and poverty in the U.S.
Boohoo, a woman’s clothing retailer, analyzed Google search data ahead of Black Friday to see which states are most obsessed with the holiday. It tracked searches such as ‘Black Friday’, ‘Black Friday deals’, ‘Black Friday online’, ‘Black Friday clothes’ and ‘Black Friday online deals.’
Appalachia had a particular affinity for the holiday, with Kentucky ranking the most obsessed and West Virginia ranking second. Despite the study’s lack of seriousness, their ranking of the most “fashion-obsessed” states might actually be a ranking of states who need the deals the most.
Comparing the states that were ranked most obsessed with Black Friday and the states with the highest poverty levels shows a significant overlap. Of the top 10 most “Black Friday obsessed” states and the 10 most impoverished states, seven of the states overlap: Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana.
The five most Black Friday-obsessed states, according to Boohoo, were all among the seven most impoverished, with New Mexico being the outlier.
10 most Black Friday-obsessed states (from Boohoo)
- West Virginia
10 most impoverished states (from World Population Review)
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
The data from Boohoo is far from scientific, but a study from a car parts retailer in 2018 had similar results, with all of its top seven most Black Friday-obsessed states falling in the top eight of World Population Review’s most impoverished states ranking.
Other possible reasons for the correlation include Black Friday shopping being more common in the Appalachian region or the need for more online shopping in rural areas where there are fewer storefronts. But regardless, before you joke about someone who is getting up at 2 a.m. on Nov. 25 to go shopping, remember that it might be their only chance to give their family the Christmas they want.