The day after Thanksgiving has become known as "Black Friday."
The name comes from the fact that many retailers count on this day to
put them into profit for the year, or "into the black." In Hawaii,
as well as all over the United States, shopping malls will see thousands
throng their stores and restaurants hunting for sales events targeting
Christmas shoppers. Popular Hawaii locations such as Ala Moana Center,
Windward Mall and outlet centers in central Oahu will see their busiest
days of the year.
The dramatically increased vehicle and human traffic at shopping malls,
while a boon for retailers, poses dangers for shoppers and their children
that should not be overlooked. Last year, many injuries were reported
around the country, as eager shoppers scuffled over dwindling supplies
of popular items. In 2011, shoppers at several locations of a popular
national retailer around the U.S. were arrested, and/or pepper-sprayed
for unruly, and even criminal behavior while trying to snatch up once
a year holiday bargains.
Those seeking such bargains can keep safe on Black Friday by following
a few simple, common-sense tips. While searching for parking at a busy
shopping mall, for instance, drivers should keep both hands on the steering
wheel at all times and mind pedestrians who may be distracted with heavy
bundles, large carts, or wailing children. Always check for pedestrians
before leaving a parking stall, and expect that a small child may be in
your path but out of sight. Drive slowly, and expect that another driver
will likely do something foolish.
While shopping, be sure to stay calm and avoid the mad rush of humanity
that often accompanies the opening of popular retailers. In 2008, a Los
Angeles retail worker was trampled to death by a crush of crazed shoppers
when the store opened at midnight on Black Friday.
For those shopping with children, it is important to keep them close and
know where they are at all times. Being lost in a crowd is terrifying
for a young child, and can happen easily in a closely-packed crowd of
thousands. Be sure to wear covered shoes, and keep laces tied at all times.
Escalators and the feet of others can cause tripping or falling hazards
easily, and increased traffic on Black Friday makes that danger even greater.
To avoid theft, keep a vehicle locked at all times, and never leave items
unattended. Police statistics indicate that incidents of theft spike at
shopping malls during the holidays.
We here at Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner wish everyone a safe and happy
Holiday Season this and every year. Safe holidays are happy holidays.