The Best Selling Item at Walmart on Black Friday Was Towels

Walmart shoppers upped their towel consumption by one million cotton squares this year, fighting each other for bargain bath towels and washcloths starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day,

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Walmart shoppers upped their towel consumption by one million cotton squares this year, fighting each other for bargain bath towels and washcloths starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, when the mega retailer began its Black Friday sale.

Overall, 2.8 million towels were purchased, making the towel this year's top-selling item across all their stores. According to Walmart, the towels, priced at $1.74 per bath towel or pack of six washcloths, were sold at far greater numbers than electronics and other traditional gifts. This year the retailer sold 2 million televisions, 1.9 million dolls, 1.4 million tablets and 300,000 bicycles.

According to Marketwatch, consumers' recent obsession with cheap towels is a sign that more people are seeing Black Friday as an opportunity to do their personal shopping, rather than pick up presents:

Another reason the towels sold so well was that Black Friday weekend has increasingly become a holiday where shoppers are out shopping for themselves, says Meghan Heffernan, the director of public relations for Savings.com — towels tend not to be popular gifts. According to a survey for DealNews. 44% of consumers planned to buy loot for themselves on Black Friday; among consumers ages 18 - 35 that number swells to 57%.

And, ahem, because five years after the start of the great recession, a lot people are still poor. According the Associated Press's Black Friday follow up, this year's sales fell by 2.9 percent from last year, even though more people — 3 million more than last year's 89 million — were out shopping.

If you were wondering what Walmart's top seller is on non-Black Fridays... its bananas.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.