BY CHLOE WAIN
NEWS PRINT EDITOR
As Black Friday approached on Nov. 29, the manic nature of the event led to increased safety concerns due to misbehaviors of customers in desperation to compete for discounted prices on items. The unique characteristics of the sales promotions advertised created a frantic environment for workers and customers. As the demand for specific on-sale items significantly exceeded the supply provided by retailers, the imbalance led to aggressive behavior between purchasers. According to Forbes, more than 165 million customers shopped over the weekend in 2018, with as much as $6.2 billion in sales online. Violent possible acts include fighting, stampedes and shootings, which create high tensions between individuals and create a hostile workplace and an intense shopping experience.
In addition to Black Friday, Cyber Monday approached on Dec. 2. As a result of manic behavior by customers, individuals have the opportunity to shop for on-sale products online. Instead of waiting in long lines and risking their physical safety, shoppers are jeopardizing their cybersecurity. Hackers may take advantage by using valuable information, which can lead to identity theft and fraud through gaining access to login credentials and credit/debit card numbers. In addition, cybercriminals may send emails containing malevolent attachments to lure consumers into providing their personal identification. Even though shopping online is the safer route, the option is still scary and potentially dangerous as well.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was established due to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act into law, an attempt of President Donald Trump to defend cybercrime and promote security awareness. The CISA also issued a “current activity” statement reminding users to remain attentive. The vast majority of cybersecurity is often financially motivated; therefore, the need for security awareness has increased. With the availability of another option of purchase, the general population can prefer endangering their personal information over risking their health attending Black Friday sales events.
The weekend does not only cause safety concerns, but can potentially be unfavorable for select retailers. Larger firms are able to overcome the epidemic by creating websites for consumers to interact and purchase on-sale items. However, small local businesses must endure heavy losses to their profits due to an increase in security and to a portion of customers shopping on the internet. “Premise reliability” can hold property owners accountable for injuries, where liability is defined through the procedures of the state courts. Therefore, smaller retailers must pay expenses that do not apply to larger businesses. The hectic environment of the mall created more market power for large firms and overall, more advantages for bigger stores; therefore, hurting the overall economy.
In conclusion, the dangerous Black Friday holiday creates hazards both in the physical world and cyberspace. With high tensions, unwarranted instore violence and security concerns leads to an unsafe shopping environment for customers is created. In addition, online sales are creating intense competition with small retailers. Individuals may prefer the comfort of their own homes as a virtual experience rather than a physical mall experience. Therefore, the shift in technology use has hurt small businesses. Overall, Black Friday and Cyber Monday create safety and security concerns.