Getting that perfect gift can drive people to do rash things. And the struggle to nab that gift at a depression, depression price can make people go even more berserk. That’south why Blackness Fri — with its limited-time deals and midnight openings — remains the perfect storm.
However, the need to go the latest and greatest gadgets has gone mode also far, resulting in terrible behavior toward customer service folks, stampedes that rival
The Lion King
(1994) and, in some cases, violence. Have a look at some of the wildest stories from the Blackness Friday trenches.
Client Stuffs Lobster Down Their Pants
Sam’s Club and Costco might non seem like obvious Black Friday “go tos,” but if yous can get wholesale items at even deeper discounts — why non? Reddit user Nickdubs recalls working at Sam’s Club during Black Fri, and, well, things got weird.
One client was trying to have her cake and eat it too. And by cake, we mean lobster. Instead of grabbing lobster tails at a low toll, she decided to shoplift the crustaceans. Nickdubs posted that they caught the adult female stuffing lobster tails in her pants and hiding the packaging in a stack of nearby tires.
In Kinston, North Carolina, police officer Gordon Jackson establish himself off duty on Black Friday in 2011. Instead of enjoying his 24-hour interval off, he ended up getting arrested — a existent “practise as I say non as I do” situation.
Videos taken of the incident bear witness folks roofing their faces later Officer Jackson used pepper spray to ward off his fellow shoppers. The crowd was chaotic, just Jackson escalated the situation and was charged with hell-raising conduct appropriately. NBC News reported that the police department claims Jackson just sprayed a “single puff” that didn’t go in anyone’s eyes.
A Power Outage Strikes a Store During the Shopping Frenzy
Circuit Metropolis, RadioShack, Tweeter. All of these electronics stores have one thing in common: they’ve permanently gone dark. A few years ago, another popular electronics store also had some problem keeping the lights on — though it was a temporary blackout situation, non bankruptcy.
Reddit user zahngol recalls picking up a shift on a chaotic Black Fri, only for the shop to lose power for almost an hour and a one-half. Of course, that meant all those ruddy-eyed shoppers couldn’t purchase anything and were forced to sit and wait in the darkened store until the power was restored.
Credit Card Systems Get Downwardly
All retail employees have their fair share of nightmarish stories from Black Friday. Sometimes the horror stories are near rude customers with unrealistic expectations, and other times the truthful terror comes in the form of long hours. One year, however, the day turned stressful thanks to some technical issues.
Reddit user Itorres89 recalled that the store they worked at suffered a huge result: The credit card system went down. To make matters worse, it was just subsequently the doors opened. Luckily for shoppers, the employees found a painful solution — manually calling in every transaction.
Florida Grandma “Stepped on Once more and Once more”
Sure, you lot’ve heard of “Florida Human being,” but this adjacent Blackness Fri shopper makes a bang-up case for a new meme: Florida Grandmother. Her origin story dates back to Black Friday 2005 and involves BrandsMart and a disturbing mob mentality.
The unnamed 73-twelvemonth-sometime woman recalls waiting in line outside the retail chain for hours on end. Once the doors opened, the real frenzy began and the merciless crowd surged forrard. Florida Grandma was knocked down in the scuffle and stepped on again and again. Her daughter watched, helpless.
Customers Arrived a Little Too Early on
In 2008, a Walmart shopper was tragically killed during a stampede to get inside the store at opening. To avoid lines and door rushing, a Walmart in Upland, California, remained open all night the post-obit year. However, this tactic led to some unforeseen bug.
Deal-hungry shoppers started opening shrink-wrapped items that were clearly marked for sale starting at v in the morning. Employees chosen the law to remove shoppers from the store so that they could prep for the v a.m. sale. Some customers tried to sneak in through the back entrance, while others chanted “let me in.”
A Walmart Crowd Knocks Down the Doors & Stampedes Inside
If you’ve e'er had a frustrating Black Friday experience — thwarting, long lines, no slumber, elbowing through crowds — y'all should consider yourself lucky. Sadly, Blackness Friday turned fatal at a Long Island Walmart in 2008. Over 2,000 eager shoppers forced open up the doors 5 minutes earlier the official early opening.
While the doors savage off their hinges, the oversupply surged forward. Allegedly, employees fabricated a human chain to boring downwardly the rush, but, in the process, a 34-twelvemonth-old employee was trampled. Even when police and paramedics arrived at the fatal scene to close the store, shoppers kept pushing past.
Eager Shoppers Wait in Line for…Towels
Although the Blackness Friday frenzy is piece of cake to mock, there’south no denying that a good bargain is a good deal. And sometimes that one item you really, actually demand — or, more likely, actually, really desire — is worth the anarchy, endless queues and coffee-less morning.
But Redditor Lineman72T hit the roof when he witnessed a couple spend 14 hours in line — that’s right, over half a twenty-four hours! — just to scoop upwardly a shopping cart full of towels. Sure, the bath towels were $ii a pop, but you accept to depict the line somewhere, correct? Right.
Angry Customer Calls 911, Another Sues
Unfortunately, retail employees who work Blackness Friday witness a lot of terrible behavior. Redditor eddiemarsattacks remembers that a shopper called 911 because Best Buy couldn’t price match the product she wanted. When the police showed upwards, they arrested her for abusing the emergency line.
Some other bearding Redditor recalls a shopper turning up on Black Friday with the intent to sue an unnamed retail shop. The shopper spilled food all over the floor and purposely slipped. In the finish, the shopper got a concussion, and, luckily for the store, there was video evidence of the shopper’s ridiculous ploy.
A Television Falls on a Shopper
If you idea Black Friday horror stories were independent to the U.Due south., think again. Nowhere is safe. In 2014, police in Greater Manchester were called to several Tesco shops to help control crowds because the UK-based supermarkets lacked the necessary security to handle the cracking of people.
Despite arrests, the crowd continued to be rowdy and disregard instructions doled out past Tesco employees and the police force. One shopper broke their wrist in the throng of deal-hungry customers, while another suffered minor injuries when a telly fell on them.
Shopping Turns Violent at a San Leandro Walmart
Information technology’southward well known that Blackness Fri shoppers start their trek to shops earlier and earlier each year — or, at to the lowest degree, that’s how it seems. And these pre-dawn start times illustrate only how drastic folks are to claim a deal.
A little before ii in the morning in San Leandro, shoppers got into a brawl in the parking lot of a Walmart. As they left the store, customers were confronted past several suspects who wanted the just-purchased items. When the shoppers refused, one of the suspects fired a gun. The gunshot victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Furby Buy Ends in a Fistfight
Every holiday season has an “it” toy that hits shelves — and then apace vanishes as eager shoppers snatch information technology upwards. In 1998 and 1999, that must-have toy was the Furby, a little electronic hamster-owl-looking robot that seemingly learned things over time.
In the outset year of the craze, 1.viii million Furbies were sold. Needless to say, getting a Furby that season was a struggle. Redditor Monklyn recalls watching “three grandmothers [get] into a literal fistfight over the last Furby.” It took several people to stop the brawl, which Monklyn called “the about screwed upwardly matter I’ve always seen.”
Oblivious Shopper Accidentally Snags Deals
Every holiday season, certain unavoidable things ingather up in the news — like the “Baby, It’southward Common cold Exterior” discourse or the “Is
(1988) a Christmas motion picture?” argue. And before and earlier each fall, we also become painfully aware of holiday sales and decor.
In a earth inundated by advertisements, it would exist pretty shocking to avert any mention of Black Friday. But according to Reddit user The Dingman, a customer who came into RadioShack (RIP) on Black Fri dodged it all. While purchasing batteries she asked employees if the mall was ever so busy.
A Young Child Is Trampled by Crowds
In 2013, Black Fri shoppers at a New Boston Walmart took the bargain craze to a whole new level when they disregarded the condom of a young girl. The xi-year-onetime child became another victim of the nightmare shopping day when stampeding customers trampled her.
Walmart employees reported the incident to the law at 7:56 p.thou., and inside five minutes, cops showed up on the scene to help. The kid’south injuries were astringent enough that she was brought to the hospital, but, fortunately, she was released later that day.
Exhausted Retail Employee Gets in an Accident
After working an undoubtedly long and tiring day in 2011, a retail employee left for the evening. But her Black Fri horrors didn’t end when she clocked out. Instead, she ended up going from her night shift at Target into a 20-human foot-deep canal.
Unable to swim, she aimlessly chosen the cops on her cell. Past the fourth dimension the Palm Beach Canton police force arrived, the woman and her car were starting to sink. After rescuers pulled her to prophylactic from the canal, the woman admitted that she lost command of her machine due to burnout.
Shoppers Ball Over Beanie Babies
People’due south online publication ran an article in 2018 that nerveless Black Fri horror stories from industry insiders. While all of the horror stories are notable, an anecdote about Beanie Babies really stood out.
Ane insider recalled existence in a shop on Black Friday during the tardily ’90s — the height of the Beanie Baby craze. Reportedly, employees tossed Beanie Babies onto a tabular array and people dove on the toys like vultures. The source says “an quondam lady grabbed a true cat out of my hand. I stomped on her foot and stole it back. I was so proud.”
A Child Has an Accident at the Annals
Sometimes parents have no choice simply to bring their kids along for the ride. Ashton David relayed their story on Facebook — and subsequently to Buzzfeed — regarding a run-in they had with a kid on Black Friday.
David recalled a woman and her kid coming upwards to the register, and when the child complained near needing the bathroom, the mother told them to wait. But the kid just couldn’t hold it whatever longer. David said the female parent didn’t apologize for her child’s accident. Instead, she grabbed her bags and said “[you] should clean that up” before leaving.
Pepper Spray Makes for “Competitive Shopping”
By its very nature, Black Friday is extreme. But in 2011 a shopper at the Walmart in Porter Ranch, California, took the event way besides far. In fact, things were taken and so far that Walmart employees had to call in the Los Angeles Law Department for fill-in.
To trounce the crowd, an anonymous shopper attacked over 20 customers with pepper spray. The few-hundred folks in the crowd were trying to snatch up the popular Nintendo Wii and, while pushing and shoving was expected, a faceful of pepper spray was a real surprise. The LAPD called this “competitive shopping.”
A Shopper Gets Likewise Righteous About Her Purchases
Emmay Friedenson, an employee at a popular retail concatenation, posted about a truly frustrating Blackness Friday experience. During the shopping spree, the checkout line became about 200 people deep. One woman with two carts in tow tried to cut the line.
When Friedenson stopped the shopper, the customer said cutting was okay because the toys were for kids at her church building. So the shopper fell to her knees and prayed — loudly. Friedenson recalls, “[She prayed] that Jesus [would] strike me down with righteous lightning for blocking the path of a Christian soldier.” After Friedenson wasn’t struck down, the customer left.
Ii Shoppers Suffer Fatal Wounds in Palm Desert
When you motion picture Palm Springs, y'all probably meet palm trees, poolside daiquiris and mid-century modern restaurants. It might seem like the closest things get to “wild” is Coachella-flavor behavior. Well, think again. In 2008, Blackness Friday turned fatal in nearby Palm Desert.
At the now-defunct Toys ‘R’ Us in Palm Desert, families took encompass later on the sound of gunfire filled the crowded shop. Two men having an argument drew their weapons. No one knows for sure why the shoppers were fighting and, tragically, both men ended upwards with fatal gunshot wounds.
Employee Gets Spat On at the MAC Counter
If you’ve ever walked into a Sephora or MAC, you lot’ve probably experienced very effusive client service with folks offering to show y'all samples or dig up only the right mascara. Still, there are some things client service reps just can’t control — including long lines.
Redditor meghanjlee worked for a MAC Cosmetics counter for years but could still vividly recall one particularly terrible Blackness Fri. The former employee wrote that a customer, fed up with the long lines that preceded their lipstick buy, spat on meghanjlee’due south coworker. “SPIT ON,” the Redditor wrote. “Let that sink in.”
Shoppers Ignore Fallen Man
Laser-focused Blackness Friday shoppers frequently become quite oblivious to the globe around them — sometimes to the detriment of others. This was certainly the case a few years ago at a West Virginia-based Target.
Walter Vance, a so-61-year-quondam pharmacist with a center condition, fell during the stampede-like chaos of the shopping spree. Although Vance wasn’t trampled, he was left to prevarication on the ground. Consumed with bargain-hunting, fellow customers didn’t stop to help him. Somewhen, an employee spotted Vance and helped get him to a nearby hospital.
Employee Receives Death Threats Over a Sweater
On Black Friday, most shoppers don’t hazard, which leads to long lines and post-Thanksgiving campouts on sidewalks. Redditor des recalled a customer who started off equally an extra-cautious shopper but turned into an utter nightmare.
The client in question called the store des worked at to ask most a sweater they’d allegedly put on concord. Des explained that the shop didn’t concur items on Black Friday and that the sweater wasn’t available. The would-be shopper then threatened des, saying “she wished she was in the store so she could put her easily around [des’] cervix and choke [them].” Yikes.
Retail Worker Sprayed by Nightmarish Customer
Retail workers feel some of the worst threats and attacks — both verbal and physical — of the vacation season on Blackness Friday. Redditor rachelb4dfe9cbb5 posted about an incident between their coworker Mira and a shopper.
The nightmarish shopper demanded that Mira “bank check in dorsum” for a green apple-scented perfume. Mira calmly explained that the scent had been discontinued and, in response, the customer grabbed the nearest canteen of trunk shimmer and sprayed it in Mira’s face like mace. “One of Mira’s eyelids swelled completely shut,” the Redditor recalled. “She had to wear an eyepatch for a calendar week.”
Piffling Customer Goes Too Far With Video Game Merchandise-Ins
PSA: Black Friday is nigh grabbing bargains, then sometimes stores can’t accommodate all of your regular needs while customer service folks are swarmed by deal-hungry crowds. Former GameStop employee spookydelight posted about a specially frustrating Blackness Friday encounter on Reddit.
On Blackness Fri, spookydelight’due south GameStop location wasn’t taking trade-ins. Ane client ignored the long line and approached the Redditor’s register. The shopper said he had over 150 items to trade in — and, when spookydelight told him they couldn’t adapt his asking, the customer threw each detail at spookydelight until the cops were called. Now, the shopper is banned from GameStops.
Victoria’southward Surreptitious Maced & Robbed
As we’ve seen, some (would-be) customers resort to aggressive and dangerous shopping tactics. Reddit user heatherb4f75e9ba5 worked at Victoria’southward Secret i Black Friday and posted about an encounter with shoplifters who wanted to steal the store’southward entire launch table just 2 hours afterwards opening.
While the shoplifters could have simply scooped up all of the new merch and run off, they took things a few steps farther. To ensure no one would chase them, the shoplifters sprayed mace all over the store and employees chosen for an emergency evacuation. “I had burns…all over my hands,” the Redditor wrote.
Pregnant Woman Gets Trampled
Nosotros’ve all heard stories of fatal stampedes, but oft those panics occur in settings like riots or evacuations. However, Black Friday has strangely get associated with these dangerous charges likewise — all for the sake of a discounted java maker or a apartment-screen TV.
In 2005, a video taken at a retail store in M Rapids, Michigan, showed shoppers shoving others to the ground. Ane of those victims was a pregnant woman, and, after her fall, most folks kept racing by. Eventually, an employee called an ambulance to brand certain she and her baby were okay.
Customers Literally Knock Down the Doors
While working at a popular retail shop, Redditor HaberDasherA experienced a terrifying door rush. A minute after midnight, their fellow employees were still setting up signs. Shoppers exterior got antsy and started pushing the door and cursing.
“The door was cheap,” HaberDasherA wrote, “so even though it was locked, they were able to push button it in.” However, the door never really opened. Yet, folks in the back of the oversupply surged forward, crushing shoppers at the front against the door. The managing director immediately opened the doors and folks spilled inside. An all-out stampede ensued.
Client Defends Child From Black Friday Chaos
The twelvemonth the Xbox 360 launched, Reddit user Ruckus55 spotted a young kid and a center-aged woman eagerly waiting in line for a 360 parcel. The employee at the annals handed the child the last console packet and, as the exchange happened, a grown homo charged in.
Said man pushed the kid, whose face up collided with a nearby sales rack. “I don’t know what came over me,” Ruckus55 wrote. “Only I instantly swung for the dude’southward caput…sending him into a Keurig tower in the center of the [aisle].” In the cease, the kid got the 360.
Customers Brawl After a Stroller Is Flipped Over
Redditor sureiguess posted about a fight they saw on Black Friday while working at a Walmart. Reportedly, a scuffle bankrupt out between 2 women. Over what, sureiguess wasn’t — well — sure. Equally they fought, one woman flipped over the other woman’south stroller with the baby yet strapped inside it.
The wronged adult female tackled the other adult female to the footing. The store director apace rushed over to make sure the baby was alright. In the end, sureiguess gleaned that the two shoppers knew one another and decided to rekindle an argument in the middle of the Blackness Friday chaos. Smart.