Black Friday Blues

SUBHEAD: Unruly shoppers in big-box discount stores cheat, steal, stampede and injure people.

Image above: Young mob stampedes into Wal-Mart store. From See below.

By Staff on 29 November 2010 for Cable News Network - (

Three women in West Palm Beach, Florida, say $1,000 worth of Best Buy merchandise was stolen from their car Friday morning within minutes of being purchased, according to CNN affiliate WPBF.

The women were the first people at Best Buy after camping out since Wednesday night.

After they made their purchases, they put them in the car and went to JC Penney. A few minutes later, they returned, and the goods were gone.

"I mean, we've been camping since Wednesday," a tearful Shereece Francis told WPBF. "Just cruel, just wicked."

The women weren't the only ones to experience Black Friday car troubles.

At least 10 shoppers in St. Louis, Missouri, left Best Buy to find that their cars had been towed, CNN affiliate KSDK reports.

The customers had parked in a lot adjacent to Best Buy belonging to a T-Mobile store. They told KSDK there were no signs saying parking was for T-Mobile customers only, just a small, upside down sign from "Bulldog Towing" warning about abandoned or illegally parked cars.

Now, those customers are out $335.

"We're going to have to return our gifts that we bought on Black Friday just to get the car from tow," said Lavorn Ford, who had purchased a Playstation 3 for his son. "It's frustrating because you get up early in the morning to get your kids stuff for Christmas and then this stuff happens. "

A T-Mobile store manager said the store needed the parking lot when it opened at 7 a.m.

"Our lot was full by 4 and then again by 6, so we would have opened up our business and not had any spots," store manager Brian Fisher said.

It seems that some people will go to extreme lengths in the name of their children. A Wisconsin woman who cut in front of a long line of Black Friday shoppers was arrested, police say, after she allegedly threatened to shoot those she moved ahead of.

"I just wanted to get my daughter the toy that she wanted for Christmas, which probably won't be there when I go today," Lanessa L. Lattimore, 21, told CNN.

Lattimore attempted to cut in front of a line of "several hundred shoppers" at a Toys R Us store in Madison, Wisconsin, on Thursday, according to a police report. Lattimore admitted there had been a confrontation in the line but disputed the details.

"Everybody was cutting in line. But there was one girl who was threatening me, so I told her that I'd shoot her," Lattimore told CNN. "I'm not a violent person, but police charged me with disorderly conduct."

Several eager shoppers were trampled Friday morning as they surged through Target store doors in North Buffalo, New York.

CNN affiliate WIVB had a camera inside the Target and captured the drama. People at the front of the line were pushed to the floor when doors opened. The commotion and screams drew additional store staff to sort the crowd out.

"It went from controlled to a mob in less than five minutes," shopper Rich Mathewson told WIVB. "And then it just got nasty."

Several people had cut into the line, angering the crowd, Mathewson said.

Unruly Wal-Mart shoppers in Sacramento, California, prompted an evacuation of the store, affiliate KTXL reported.

Just after the store opened its doors at 5 a.m., customers became pushy and unruly.

Sacramento Sheriff's officers were called in to help clear the store and everyone was ordered to leave their carts in the store and exit. Once everyone outside calmed down, shoppers were allowed back in to finish their shopping, according to KTXL.

Near Death Shopping

SUBHEAD: Wal-Mart narrowly avoids more Black Friday deaths.

By William AShfordon 29 November 2010 for Scrape TV - (

Last year’s Black Friday was one to remember for Wal-Mart officials, though not in terms on killer sales. It was that day that a worker at a Long Island location was trampled to death by shoppers seeking deep discounts. That tragedy prompted many changes in the company’s Black Friday policies including starting sales earlier in the week and extending beyond the single Friday. Those actions apparently had a great effect on Friday with no deaths reported from around the chain, though there were a few close calls.

The closest call was an incident in Seattle where a worker was repeatedly bumped by patrons who nearly crashed through the doors looking for inexpensive perfume and children’s clothing. The incident left the worker, 22 year-old Heather Carter, with several bruises on her left arm but alive. Still, Wal-Mart officials are not happy with the performance and will seek to improve security procedures so that next year no employees will be bumped or touched in any way.

“We are overjoyed that no one was killed this year. That incident last year cast a serious pall over the shopping festivities and made for a very messy cleanup which our people are simply not equipped to handle. Luckily no one suffered that fate this year but we are disturbed to learn that some people were still involved in contact with one another, no matter how incidental it might have been.

We will look into these incidents to ensure that such things will not occur again in the future as we cannot tolerate even the slightest possibility of more deaths in Wal-Mart stores,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We are pleased with the new security procedures in place and as always we will continue to review them for the benefit and safety of all employees and shoppers. The type of incident that occurred last year is not something we wish to repeat and we will make every effort to ensure that such things do not happen in Wal-Mart stores.”

Wal-Mart rival Target was not so lucky with at least ten people taken to hospital throughout the country, one seriously injured after a stack of discount potato chips collapsed, pinning him underneath.

“Incidents like what happened last year are not often spoken about but happen far more frequently than many people would believe. Everyday people are hit, bumped into, or otherwise assaulted at Wal-Mart’s all across the world. Most aren’t killed of course but injury can sometimes be worse. Ultimately the company realizes that they have to put an end to those kinds of incidents if for no other reason than to avoid bad press,” said Scrape TV Business analyst Ken Green. “The real concern is that as big as Wal-Mart is that an escalating death toll will eventually affect stock prices. Even the biggest companies in the world can’t keep killing employees and not have it impact the bottom line so I imagine they will be extra sensitive to any incidents.”

Office Depot stores across the country saw four deaths on Black Friday but no one seemed particularly concerned.

“By positioning themselves as being totally intolerant of death, Wal-Mart could set a new standard for all big box stores. People being trampled is an all too common occurrence in today’s America and as the unemployment rate continues to soar that’s only likely to get worse. Of course that would help solved the employment issue,” continued Green. “By taking such a firm stance though, Wal-Mart has buffeted themselves against any future actions by individuals or stock holders in case someone else does get mauled to death again.”

The Seattle worker who suffered the arm injury is reportedly resting comfortably.


No comments :

Post a Comment