Happy Holidays! Black Friday not for the faint of heart this year with Los Angeles residents experiencing increasingly violent weather and behavior

Americans take fewer holidays than most of the industrialized world, online retailer Rakuten Buy.com, asks, 'How will you spend yours?'

Nov 15, 2012, 12:00 ET from Rakuten Buy.com

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Research from online retailer Rakuten Buy.com, predicts that Los Angeles residents will face an increasingly violent start to the holiday shopping season this year with strong gusts of winds, downpours and cold hearts if they are braving the stores this Black Friday. With temperatures expected to reach lows of 45F under cloudy skies and wind gusts reaching up to 29mph, the weather is likely to be a shock to shoppers expecting a repeat of last year, which saw sunny skies and a high of 66F.  

Adding to the new obstacles facing shoppers this year is the seemingly rising trend of violent shopping tactics that have begun to characterize the traditional shopping extravaganza. With big retail chains opening their doors earlier and earlier each year and shoppers willing to get violent to score a deal, in-store bargain hunting on Black Friday is quickly escalating into a physically aggressive sport. Last year, one LA woman shot pepper spray at fellow shoppers to keep them away from merchandise she had her eye on. Nearly 20 shoppers were injured and local authorities never identified the woman.

Bernard Luthi, COO & CMO at Rakuten Buy.com commented: "The average American gets fourteen vacation days per year, fewer than most of the industrialized world. It's remarkable that Los Angeles residents are willing to brave the wild and frenzied in-store shopping experience rather than spend the treasured holiday time with friends and family."

"Missing the mayhem of the stores around the holidays doesn't need to mean missing out on deals or gifts for loved ones. The rise of mobile commerce as well as online shopping means that you can snag that bargain as easily from the couch or a restaurant as you can in person – according to our own research, only eight per cent of Americans are currently shopping from mobile devices. We're expecting that figure to grow inexorably over the coming years."

One last note of caution for LA residents planning to hit their local shopping centers this Black Friday – drivers can expect sluggish travels and slippery roads due to the rainy weather this year.  As the most populous city in America behind NYC, Los Angeles is well-known for having some of the most congested roads in the nation, and this holiday shopping season will be no different. The hidden costs of high gas prices, traffic congestion, and potential fist fights at brick-and-mortar stores can make a real dent on those discounts and deals this Black Friday.

If you plan to dodge the crowds and stay at home, Rakuten's Buy.com is offering site-wide discounts across its 20 million products offered by its 5,500 merchants—that include your local small businesses and your favorite major brands. Find them all at www.buy.com/blackfriday.

About Rakuten's Buy.com

With more than 18 million customers, Rakuten Buy.com is a leading retail marketplace, focused on providing its customers with an entertaining shopping experience and a broad selection of retail goods at everyday low prices. Rakuten Buy.com connects buyers and sellers in a global marketplace that allows shoppers to buy from people, not the internet. By providing a large selection of products from Computers, Electronics, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Video Games, Home Furnishings & Decor, Baby & Toys, Pets, Sporting Equipment and more, Rakuten Buy.com shoppers support local merchants as well as the brands they love. Founded in 1997, Buy.com joined Rakuten in 2010 to continue its mission to provide a simple, connected and human alternative to the ecommerce experience. Buy.com is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, CA. For more information about Rakuten's Buy.com, please visit www.buy.com.

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world's leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit: http://global.rakuten.com/group.

Dan Gamble

SOURCE Rakuten Buy.com