With customers being trampled, pepper-sprayed and assaulted in department stores, some FSU students opted out of Black Friday shopping to enjoy the online retailing discounts of “Cyber Week.”
Beginning November 25, 2005, Cyber Monday is the Monday following Black Friday where companies offer discounts for online shopping. However, due to an extensive increase in online sales during the holiday season, retailers such as Wal-Mart and Amazon.com are making this year’s “Cyber Monday” a weeklong event spanning from Sun- Fri.
An estimated $1 billion was spent on online purchases last year during Cyber Monday according to Pittsburgh’s WTAE.com. In 2010, Cyber Monday shopping totals even exceeded Black Friday amounts, becoming the largest merchandise-selling day of the year. To increase online shopping for Cyber Week, department stores are offering discounts on merchandise including game systems and digital cameras.
Ferris student Hieu Trinh said he spends more money shopping online for Cyber Week than during Black Friday because online shopping is more convenient.
He said Cyber Week shopping is also safer than Black Friday shopping because customers can avoid dangerous crowds. An employee at River Town Crossings Mall in Grandville, Trinh said Black Friday shopping can be dangerous when large numbers of shoppers are waiting to get inside malls and department stores.
“It was crazy. People were crawling under the store gate just to get into stores seconds sooner and it sounded like a stampede,” Trinh said about Black Friday shoppers entering River Town Crossings Mall.
FSU Forensic Psychology student Herman Brookes III said he feels online shopping is popular with Big Rapids students due to the city’s lack of a shopping mall. According to Brookes III, online retailers tend to have more merchandise than local Big Rapids department stores.
Still, some FSU students feel online shopping can be just as dangerous as Black Friday shopping. FSU Hospitality Management major, Greg Priester said he enjoys the tradition of shopping during the holiday season. However, Priester said he feels both Black Friday and Cyber Week shopping are potentially dangerous.
Priester warned students choosing to indulge in weeklong online shopping should be cautious of identity theft.
“There are always fake websites online that offer a ‘good deal’ where people get their credit card information stolen,” Priester said.
With Ferris students choosing to shop online rather than in department stores for the holiday season, Cyber Week is on track to becoming the preferred retail therapy choice for shoppers.