It was only a matter of time, but the first U.S. case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was identified in California today in a passenger who had recently returned from South Africa. Omicron has many more mutations than Delta and other variants, but it’s still not known if those mutations lead to more serious illness in those who haven’t been vaccinated or if they are more likely to lead to breakthrough infections in those who are.
While the news gave both airlines and stock markets continued jitters, it might not affect consumer electronics retailers in a negative way. Yesterday, National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay said that consumer spending earmarked for travel and in-person entertainment could instead be redirected towards electronics, toys, and any other products that help people live and work while sheltering in place. For now, though, uncertainty around Omicron’s effect on business remains the order of the day.
There are still plenty of reasons for holiday cheer, though, even in the face of onslaughts from viruses both biological and technological. As Retail Dive reports, retailers by and large were not affected by any cybersecurity, phishing, or hacking attacks over Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This is due to retailers battening down their e-commerce and database hatches after warnings about potential holiday hacker onslaughts from the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Most CE retailers have been remained relatively unscathed from cybersecurity incidents—or at least they have successfully fought them off—in recent months. Keep up the good work!
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