Shop ‘Til You Drop: CHS students discuss the dangers of Black Friday shopping

Kris Otten

After years of early rising and line waiting just to get our hands on doorbusters marked down to 50 or even 60 percent off, to many, Black Friday has become a holiday even more celebrated than Thanksgiving. Black Friday is the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving where stores place large discounts on many of their items. Stores may place markdowns on any item they choose, but the products that tend to be the most popular on Black Friday are the big-ticket items such as TVs and other electronics. While to some the deals may seem worth the risk, Black Friday is becoming more and more dangerous as the years progress.

On Black Friday in 2015, while out shopping with her mom and aunt, sophomore Vivian Werstler witnessed firsthand the violence that Black Friday deals can incite in people. According to Werstler, when in the women’s section at Target, she saw two adult women violently fighting over an item of clothing.

“I remember that one woman hit the other woman in the head with a frying pan. And like she passed out and then she got in trouble but I just remember it was horrible, like she was out,” Werstler said.

Unfortunately, incidents like these occur quite often on Black Friday. As of 2016, there have been a reported 10 deaths and 105 injuries on Black Friday, all a range of shootings, stampedes, stabbings, and more dangerous activities.

With 154.4 million Black Friday shoppers in 2016 and an estimated 156 million in 2017, it can be hard for the already limited mall security to keep watch over everything. Consequently, this means that many people are injured in the rush to be the first one in the store door.

“I fell as one store was opening and people walked over me, like I was bruised,” Werstler said.

With all the dangers that come with the Black Friday shopping experience nowadays, it begs the question of whether or not it is even worth it to go out.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving where online stores put large discounts on their items, has started to become more and more popular, and is even beginning to mix in with Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping. Online Black Friday spending is predicted to increase by 11.61 percent from 2016 to 2017. For many, the online option has just become more practical, as most of the deals available in store can also be found online. Additionally, online shopping allows people to skip out on the fights, early rising, line waiting, and overcrowdedness that comes with going out for Black Friday.

After having the traditional Black Friday experience, sophomore Jaehee Kim, does not believe that it is worth it.

“I don’t think it’s worth it especially now because you can buy a bunch of the Black Friday stuff online, I don’t think it’s worth it for you to get injured,” Kim said.

With all the seemingly great deals and excitement of Black Friday, it can be easy for people to overlook the real dangers associated with the shopping experience. But, whether or not you decide to brave the early hours and crazy shoppers, always make sure to take some time to remember what Thanksgiving is really about: being grateful for the things you already have.