With a record $52.4 billion spent over the long weekend, it appears Black Friday was a retail success. We should all be happy that consumers are loosening the purse strings after several years. But here’s a dark side that overshadows the good news about this annual event.
Shoppers have to worry about their safety not only in the parking lots, but inside the store!
Fight Your Fellow Shoppers
If you’re worried about getting one of the great deals just bring your pepper spray to use at a critical moment ensuring you get the desired items. Sound crazy? That’s what one Los Angeles woman did. It almost makes pushing and shoving seem reasonable.
Pepper spray was used by a security guard at another store. You don’t want to fall down in these mobs as people have been trampled to death in past years.
My sister witnessed a woman in line collapse from a medical issue and was worried she’d get trampled as it was right before the store opened. Fortunately, that didn’t happen to her. But a man in West Virginia who later died had the same problem and shoppers just walked over him to get their bargains.
These people aren’t saving thousands of dollars. In most cases, it’s less than a hundred.
Google the phrase “Black Friday Walmart” on Youtube and you will find a dozen or more videos of the violence and chaos from this year alone. Why is the retailer giant still unable to manage the shoppers after years of experience and bad results?
Walmart has a responsibility to figure out a way to defuse the situation. Whether it be handing out tickets to people in line before opening doors, limiting the number of people in the store at a time or hiring an extensive amount of security there has to be a solution to the violence; because I don’t there’s an answer to people’s greed.
Just Say No
The irony is that the goods people are fighting over was available online at the same price. There’s no reason to use your gas and energy running from store to store. Plus, you don’t have to be up all night for staggered store openings.
I think I’ll continue doing my Black Friday purchases from the comfort and safety of my home. What do you think about the Black Friday experience?
photo by: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com