Cyber Monday sales increase allowing Black Friday in-store violence to lessen

Sam Uhlarik, Staff Reporter

Every year, starting as early as October, the Christmas shopping season begins as millions of Americans flock to big-box retailers in search of gifts, decorations and supplies.

Some choose to shop on Black Friday, in an attempt to obtain discounts on products they intend to buy. Others choose to avoid the frenzy associated with the day after Thanksgiving and shop closer to the actual holidays. Now however, with online shopping, many customers have traded going to the store for shopping online. Black Friday began as a shopping tradition in the United States in the 1960s. However, only recently has its reputation been diminished. Due to the chaos associated with violence and massive crowds, there have been seven reported deaths and 98 injuries in the United States on Black Friday since 2006. Aside from the safety risk, some have referred to it as “Black Thursday” due to certain stores opening on the evening of Thanksgiving. Many employees and customers disliked Black Friday starting early, as it meant having to work or shop during the holiday.

Wanting to avoid the negative aspects of Black Friday, many individuals shop during the month of December. In 2004, $31.9 billion was spent at department stores in December, compared to the $20.8 billion spent in November. December shopping is also more popular due to customers wanting more time to shop and not wanting their holidays to be rushed.

No matter when the purchasing takes place, the shift towards online shopping has drastically changed the way people buy gifts during the shopping season. Events like Cyber Monday allow customers to receive similar discounts to Black Friday without having to go the store. In fact, in 2016, Cyber Monday totaled $110 million more in sales than Black Friday did a few days prior.

The Christmas shopping season has undergone an extensive amount of changes in just the last decade. Special shopping days, like Black Friday, had become very disorderly in the early 2000s. However, due to a steady increase in Cyber Monday shopping and an apparent decrease in Black Friday shopping, there’s been a reduction in the occurring violence.