Black Friday is arguably the biggest shopping day of the entire year, and a source of dread for most retail workers. The Friday during American Thanksgiving weekend is the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season, and most retailers have huge sales that you will probably never come close to finding the rest of the year. But quantities are limited, and nothing makes people lose their minds quicker than a big ticket item for half the regular price.
Stores have been known to open at ridiculous hours like 4am to let the hoards of people who have been lined up all night in to shop. Guaranteed, there are good deals out there, but try to remember that it isn’t the cashier’s fault you almost got trampled picking out your big screen TV. People seem to forget about manners when huge savings are on the line, but it’s the holidays, so be nice! To remind you how bad it can get, here are 11 Black Friday horror stories that might convince you to stay home this year.
Wal-Mart employee trampled to death
In 2008, seasonal Wal-Mart employee, 34-year-old, Jdimytai Damour was actually trampled by the crowd of shoppers who burst through the front doors at 5am. Over 2000 people, who had been in line all night long, were banging so hard on the glass doors that they shattered, sending waves of people into the store. Damour was thrown onto the floor, and although coworkers tried to get to him, they couldn’t make it in time. Police said the store lacked adequate barriers and security, and they let the situation get out of control.
Woman sprays fellow shoppers with pepper spray
At a Los Angeles Wal-Mart in 2011, a woman sprayed a crowd of shoppers with pepper spray in order to get the upper hand in picking up a discounted XBOX. Ten people were affected by the spray, and another ten suffered bumps and bruises in the chaos. The woman was able to get away, and make her purchases without getting caught. Law enforcement hoped to use surveillance tapes to identify her, but she turned herself in the next day.
Two dead after a shootout at Toys R Us
In 2008, two men shopping in the electronics department at Toys R Us got into a fight, and started shooting at each other. That’s right, they brought guns into a store full of children, and people shopping for Christmas presents. The men ended up killing each other, and miraculously, no one else was injured. The men were involved in a previous feud, that led to the shooting match, and were not fighting over merchandise, but at least one witness was quoted as saying, “This is horrible. I’m never shopping on Black Friday again.”
Impatient customers refusing to wait
A Wal-Mart in New York had planned ahead, and put a bunch of sale merchandise on the floor, still shrink wrapped, with signs announcing it wouldn’t be available for purchase until 5am on Friday morning. But the temptation was too great for crowds of impatient shoppers who started ripping open the shrink wrap around 2am. Employees were forced to call to cops to control the mob. All the customers were ordered outside to wait until 5am, when they were cautiously let into the store in groups of 30 at a time.
Sick man is ignored in favour of sales
In a West Virginia Target store, a man collapsed while shopping, only to be ignored by the hundreds of other shoppers passing by. Witnesses reported that there were people actually stepping over his body, until an off-duty emergency room nurse noticed him, and started administering CPR. He was taken to the hospital, but died later than day. His friends and family were outraged, and believe he might have had a chance if it weren’t for the greed of shoppers who didn’t want to miss a good sale.
Sucker punched for a spot in line
While waiting in line at a Sears in Texas, a man was punched in the face after he objected to another man cutting in line. The guy who was punched then pulled out a handgun to defend himself (that’s a fair fight). The line cutter fled, and the man with the gun was taken into custody by the police. He was released because he had a permit for the concealed weapon, but was asked to leave the store. He was given a voucher for his next visit, and the rest of the night went smoothly for his fellow Sears customers.
Shoplifters refusing to leave without the goods
In 2012, two women went into a Michigan Old Navy store at 5am, and proceeded to steal bags full of merchandise. When they left the store, they were confronted by an undercover loss prevention detective, who took the bags from them. The two women ran to their vehicle, but circled back around to where the detective was writing down their license plate number. They pulled a gun on him, and stole the merchandise again, before fleeing. Police caught up to them not long after, and they were arrested.
Customers trespassing into the backroom
Shoppers know that not all available merchandise is on display at the beginning of the day. They think that all they have to do to get the good stuff is find the warehouse, sneak in, and have their pick. Once one customer does it, there is nothing stopping everyone else from doing the same. One Toys R Us employee found at least 10 customers digging through boxes in the backroom. They claimed there was nothing indicating they weren’t allowed back there, except of course those “Employees Only” signs, and common sense.
Shoplifter stabs a Marine
Outside a Best Buy in Georgia, a group of U.S Marines were collecting money for Toys for Tots. Inside the store, a man who was trying to conceal a laptop computer under his jacket was confronted by staff. He dropped the computer and fled the store with a knife in his hand. One of the Marines tried to stop him, but he ended up getting stabbed in the back by the shoplifter. A group of Marines, and Best Buy staff jumped on the man, and held him until police arrived. The injured Marine was taken to the hospital, and fully recovered.
Woman stabbed by a pen
In the middle of a particularly rowdy Wal-Mart crowd, a woman was knocked over and impaled in the neck by her own pen. None of her fellow shoppers stopped to help her, and an employee had to stand over her to make sure she wasn’t trampled waiting for the ambulance to arrive. When the paramedics got there, they had to shove their way through the crowd, because no one was willing to move a few feet away from their place near the sale items to make a path for them.
Man gets hit in the face with a TV
Line cutting is probably the most punishable offense on Black Friday, which one Target customer found out the hard way. After cutting in line, a man took a 42″ TV to the face, and ended up with a concussion, and had to get several stitches. The guy who threw the TV was not patted on the back by his fellow customers either. He took a couple punches, and ended up in jail with an assault charge.