As Holiday Shopping Kicks into High Gear, Shopping Mall Shuts Downs Due to Power Outage

November 26, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Despite the massive growth of online shopping, Black Friday (News - Alert) still ushers in a month-long period where malls are packed with shoppers.  Whether they’re looking for a specific item or are hoping to get all their holiday shopping done in one (potentially nerve-wracking) day, each year, the weekend following Thanksgiving energizes shopping malls across the country.  That is, until a power outage brings everything to an immediate halt.

Such was the case at the Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville, Georgia around 4:00 Saturday afternoon, when power suddenly went out, forcing mall management to officially close the facility until power could be restored.  Fortunately, Georgia Power was able to restore power quickly and the mall was able to reopen by 6:00 pm, with plenty of time for customers to get some shopping done – and likely with smaller crowds than usual given the temporary closure.

WSB-TV reporter Rikki Klaus said the cause of the outage was a mystery, as Georgia Power did not identify any issues with the power infrastructure.

While the disruption to shoppers and retailers was limited, outages can be much more devastating for businesses that haven’t properly prepared their technology.  The systems stores rely on for their operations – including ensuring continuity between online and physical shopping experiences – are full of tiny circuitry that can be easily damaged by power surges during outages.  If those circuits are damaged, systems – including servers, payment systems, web and mobile apps, and other elements critical to the shopping experience – become inaccessible and business stops, creating not only an immediate loss of revenue, but potentially sending customers to competitive businesses.

Power protection systems are designed specifically to prevent damage from surges by regulating power before it is distributed to business systems, avoiding any potential damage.  In addition, UPS capabilities can provide backup power to allow systems to be manually shut down or reconfigured – or even supply extended runtime during outages to keep entire operations functioning. 

Nearly every business is dependent upon technology for its operations, and most can ill-afford the extended downtime that comes with having to replace or repair damaged hardware because they didn’t take appropriate protective measures.  That’s true any time, but even more sure as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.

Edited by Erik Linask