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Black Friday’s Dark Side

12/03/2013

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 6.28.38 AM

Preliminary reports show that Black Friday 2013 results were less than expected. Retailers have changed the dynamic of Black Friday by first pushing into Thursday and now into Wednesday. The extended version of Black Friday dilutes the single day’s numbers and is not all plus business.

To put Black Friday shoppers into a less than merry mood, the site BlackFridayDeathCount tracks deaths and injuries associated with Black Friday shopping since 2006. Each tally is linked to an article substantiating the count.

The count for 2013 is 1 death and 13 injuries. 2008 was the worst year for deaths when 1 Walmart employee was trampled to death and 2 others were killed at a So Cal ToysRUs store.

A watered down Black Friday spanning several days where shoppers risk their lives and limbs for a deal all leads to a simple conclusion. Cyber Monday will replace Black Friday as the premier shopping event of the year.

Yesterday was no exception. And the numbers are mind-boggling. As of 6 p.m. Eastern time, overall sales were up 17.5% on Cyber Monday compared with last year, says IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. The numbers may shift even higher as people continue to shop through the evening.

2013 will be regarded as the year online shopping went mobile. Over 29% of Cyber Monday shopping came from mobile devices – up 61% from last year.

And 2013 is the year the term “Cyber Monday” got a face-lift. Retailers from Target to Sears are fast evolving Cyber Monday into something more akin to Cyber Week, as online deals stretch well beyond Monday.

Cyber Monday or Cyber Week may be ringing the death knell for Black Friday. Considering the dangerousness of Black Friday shopping that could be a very good thing.

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