Long queues of people were waiting outside the doors long before the doors opened. Most of the online retail websites crashed in the first hour of business.
Good Morning Britain gave the recount of the days activity across London’s multiple retail stores across Britain with ridicule and awe. The mayhem that was covered on camera was shocking and Richard Flynn of the PRDetox.com declared the day as a fail. The show covered the happening in the Asda. There were cheerleaders singing and dancing while the crowd was too busy trying to get ahead of one another that they didn’t realize that retail items like televisions had gone the fastest.
What went on before the Asda debacle is in a way worse. The Black Friday in UK is all about getting discounts and buying products on retail price from US affiliated stores like Walmart and Macy’s. The online stores like Amazon also promote the Black Friday.
There are also some stores who are not so enthusiastic about the Black Friday celebrations like Tiffany & Co., Dollar T Inc., and T.J. Maxx; that did not promote Black Friday at all, neither on their websites nor on their stores. Asda, Bristol. Amazon UK, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Argos, Game, Old Navy, PC World and other stores opened in the morning while other stores started shop last night midnight.
The stores are also offering great deals online. Although shoppers have been warned of online scamming that could results in seven hundred thousand pounds worth of credit card fraud. The sales on Thursday evening ran an all time high at $1.35 billion in the US, 27% above the last year’s numbers and $2.48 billion is expected to come to revenue on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with online shopping alone.
The history of Black Friday is not so beautiful. Started in 1950s, the Chicago P.D. named it as such because of the traffic chaos caused among shoppers and football fans going to watch the Army vs. Navy match. The mayhem caused the police to call it Black Friday and the name stuck. It’s no better even 50 years later. Facebook pages like "Say No To Shopping on Thanksgiving" has nearly 65,000 likes and "Boycott Black Thursday" has more than 114,000 likes.
Change.org demanded retailers to stay closed but it is also recorded that every year, Black Friday has become one day when retailer benefit greatly with the people lining up outside the stores, trying to cover all their holidays shopping with discounts. They usually end up buying more but it’s a win-win situation for business around the world.
While President Obama was enjoying his turkey and 18 sauces on Thanksgiving table, most Americans turned to online stores for shopping on discount and other showed up outside the stores when they opened the stores one evening before Friday.
Meanwhile in Britain Telegaraph’s Laura Davidson reported that people are expected to spend 1.7 billion pounds on Black Friday. All the stores offered different amount sales but according Flynn, the retail on products was so haphazard that some of them were just lying there on discount without people even turning to see them like toasters.
The stores and authorities had pre-meditated the chaos and had already called the police to control the inevitable mayhem that was sure to pursue. Police were called to four supermarkets in London amid fears of crowd surges as people hunted for bargains. They were outside, ready for action when the Lea Tesco scuffle broke out and people rushed to grab the discounted coffee makers.
Officers also attended Tesco stores in Willesden and Surrey Quays and an Asda in Edgware at around midnight. The busiest hour was expected to be between 7 to 8 in the morning in which police made several arrests as well. Police were demanded for crowd control and evacuation at seven different stores where people got aggressive with the staff and refused to leave even when stock had been sold out.
While in the US, Wal-mart workers protested for an increase in their salary i.e. $15 more per hour and the right to form a union. This will be the third year they have protested before the holiday. Activists also charged to protest against Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson, encouraging people to boycott the retail stores. As a result, Ferguson Wal-mart remained quietest on the busiest day of the year.
The online traffic was 307 points on the index which is four times more than the last year. The sales are going off the roof while the retail stores websites are crashing one by one because of the insane shoppers’ traffic.
The online stores weren’t the only place with chaos. The police is absolutely graveled by the lack of administration from the stores. There were multiple injuries across different stores. A woman was mugged in the queue and 20 people were injured in one store while a television fell on a woman rushing by and was taken to the hospital. There have been numerous cases of injuries and even deaths. US has a counter for Black Friday tragedies counting 7 deaths and 90 injuries in the past 6 years.
The only area who seemed to have a handle on the chaos was Oxford Street and that was mostly because they followed the one-in and one-out rule which resulted into longer queues but less mayhem. Shoppers are expected to come to Oxford for buying special gifts and families are expected to turn up on the weekend but till now there has been no reports of scuffle or threatening like other parts of the country like Lea, Wimbley and Surrey and other cities where arrests have been made.
The arrested people include protesters against Black Friday, crooks robbing people, brawlers and shouters. The stores’ staffs have been threatened over and over and it’ just the lunch break right now.