Shoppers are hesitant to participate in Black Friday shopping due to safety concerns, according to recent interviews with five Kalamazoo County residents.

Two Kalamazoo County residents said that shopping on Black Friday is chaotic and can get dangerous due to the abundance of people in stores and malls.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of local Black Friday shoppers at the Crossroads Mall in Portage.

Justin Ruskiewicz, 31, a car salesman, and Kareem Yamani, 20, a WMU student, both said that they are taking safety precautions to shop on Black Friday this year.

“This will be my second time going shopping on Black Friday and last year my buddy got into a fight with a guy over a pair of Jordan’s,” said Ruskiewicz. “Now that I know what to expect, I’m going to try to shop in stores where there aren’t insane amounts of people. That’s too much chaos going on for me.”

Yamani said that a few people he knows that have participated in Black Friday shopping in previous years claim that they have been robbed. “A couple of years ago, one of my cousins went to Best Buy to get a TV for a good deal. When he reached the front of the line, his entire wallet was missing and he dealt with identity theft for months after that,” Yamani said.

Black Friday is widely accepted by consumers as the beginning of Christmas shopping season. Most stores offer huge discounts on their products and services; and people are determined to get the best discounts on the products that they plan on purchasing.

Some people make lists and plan out their Black Friday shopping, and deal with the chaos to receive the best discounts. Others participate in Cyber Monday and purchase their products online to avoid going out into the madness.

Wondwossen Anemone, 19, a WMU student, said that he and his family have gone shopping on Black Friday for the past couple of years and plan on continuing that tradition. “We mostly go shopping on Black Friday for the bargains that we can get on the Christmas presents we need to buy,” he said.

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