Happy Holidays! New Yorkers braced for a Black Friday full of chill winds, frozen toes and cold hearts this year

Americans take fewer holidays than most of the industrialized world, ecommerce marketplace, Rakuten Buy.com, asks, 'how will you spend yours?'

Nov 15, 2012, 09:00 ET from Rakuten Buy.com

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Research from ecommerce marketplace, Rakuten Buy.com, predicts that New Yorkers will face a perfect storm of icy winds and cold hearts if they are braving the stores this Black Friday. With temperatures expected to reach lows of 37F under cloudy, sunless skies, the weather is likely to be a short, sharp shock to shoppers expecting a repeat of last year, which saw sunny skies and a high of 61F. After weeks of tumultuous weather around New York, the continuing cold snap looks set to shock shoppers out of their post-turkey comas.

Adding to the new obstacles facing shoppers this year is the seemingly rising trend towards 'black moods' that have begun to characterize the traditional shopping extravaganza. Last year the city saw riots outside stores in SoHo during the early hours while a 4am stampede in Herald Square frayed tempers and teams had to be devoted to directing shoppers like rush hour traffic. Several consumers admitted that this time of year sees some News Yorkers living up to their forceful stereotypes, employing "aggressive" shopping tactics, including elbowing their way to the front of checkout lines or skipping past other shoppers waiting to enter stores,  with etiquette coming a firm second to bargain hunting.

Bernard Luthi, COO & CMO at Rakuten Buy.com commented: "The average American gets 14 vacation days per year, fewer than most of the industrialized world. It's remarkable that New Yorkers are willing to brave the cold temperatures and sharp elbows of their neighbors to find a bargain 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 New Yorkers planning to ditch the MTA and cart the haul back by car – retailers are not the only ones making a killing during Black Friday – it's also one of the busiest times of the year for New York City's traffic enforcement agents. Every year scores of shoppers get caught out by the alternate parking rule, mistakenly thinking that it does not apply during the retail bonanza. It does, and a parking fine of up to $515 can make a real dent on those discounts and deals.

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 & Décor, 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