Author Topic: Black Friday violence reported as retailers usher in start of holiday shopping season  (Read 330 times)

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Offline happyg

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The holiday shopping season kicked off much earlier this year, as at least a dozen national retail chains from Macy's to Gap to Target opened their stores on Thanksgiving Day despite planned protests from workers' rights groups opposed to employees working on the holiday.

The early start to this year's shopping mayhem did not prevent several reported violent confrontations at stores around the nation that opened up for Black Friday, which is typically considered the biggest shopping day of the year.

A New Jersey man was arrested Thursday in a Walmart and charged with disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on a police officer after allegedly arguing with a store employee over a TV, NBCNewYork.com reported.

In the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, a driver believed to be involved in a shoplifting scheme was shot by authorities after dragging a police officer who was trying to stop him in the parking lot of a Kohl's department store late Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The suspected shoplifter and two additional suspects were arrested, police told the newspaper. Both the driver and the officer sustained injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, according to the report.

At a Wal-Mart in the Southern California city of Rialto, a police officer was injured while trying to break up a fight after a store manager decided to open the doors early, which police said led to the melee, according to the San Bernardino County Sun.

Police said there were three fights at the store, two of which were inside over merchandise and the third outside that left the officer injured. All of the people involved in the fights were taken into custody, the newspaper reported.

In Las Vegas, a customer who had purchased a big-screen television at Target was shot in the leg while walking to a nearby apartment complex, KLAS-TV reported. The victim was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

In the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. They've also pushed up discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November, which has led retail experts to question whether the Thanksgiving openings will steal some of Black Friday's thunder.

Overall, The National Retail Federation expects retail sales to be up 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion during the last two months of the year. That's higher than last year's 3.5 percent growth, but below the 6 percent pace seen before the recession.

Analysts expect sales to be generated at the expense of profits as retailers will likely have to do more discounting to get people into stores.

About 15,000 shoppers were at Macy's Herald Square in New York City right before the doors opened, estimated Terry Lundgren, CEO, president and chairman of the department store chain. Last year, the store had 11,000 people right before the midnight opening.

Lundgren, who was at the entrance, told The Associated Press that the retailer knew it had to open when it found out other competitors were planning to open on Thanksgiving night. He also said it received positive feedback from its employees. "We're a competitive group," he said. "It's very clear they (the shoppers) want to be here at 8 p.m."

The store was featuring 375 doorbusters, up from last year's 200. Some of the deals included $79.99 jackets originally priced from $195 to $250, and cashmere sweaters for $39, marked down from 129.

Shelby Wheatley, 17, was with her mother, her mother's friend and her best friend, who all traveled from Orlando, Fla. Wheatley was looking for a prom dress and wanted to buy it in New York.

"I did Black Friday-but never Thursday--and never in New York," she said.

As for Thanksgiving, the group celebrated early with family last week.

The Thanksgiving openings are part of retailers' holiday strategy of trying to lure shoppers in early and often during the holiday shopping season. But the stores face challenges in doing that.

Some workers have petitions on change.org to protest against Target and Best Buy. The Retail Action Project, a labor-backed group of retail workers, also is planning to have members visiting customers at stores including Gap and Victoria's Secret in Manhattan to educate them about the demands on workers.

Wal-Mart has been the biggest target for protests against holiday hours. Most of the company's stores are open 24 hours, but the retailer is starting its sales events at 6 p.m. on Thursday, two hours earlier than last year.

The issue is part of a broader campaign against the company's treatment of workers that's being waged by a union-backed group called OUR Walmart, which includes former and current workers. The group is staging demonstrations and walkouts at hundreds of stores around the country on Black Friday.

Brooke Buchanan, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said the discounter has received "really good feedback" from employees about working the holiday.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/29/retailers-usher-in-holiday-shopping-season-as-black-friday-morphs-into/

Offline jmyrlefuller

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So they have to cut their margins and increase their cost of labor by making workers work odd hours. (And the line about Wal-Mart getting good feedback is bullcrap. They know full well that in this economy, any ill word could get them fired.) You have to wonder if the whole mess is even worth it, and if not, why do they even bother angering a good chunk of the American people by doing this?
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

Online kevindavis

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So they have to cut their margins and increase their cost of labor by making workers work odd hours. (And the line about Wal-Mart getting good feedback is bullcrap. They know full well that in this economy, any ill word could get them fired.) You have to wonder if the whole mess is even worth it, and if not, why do they even bother angering a good chunk of the American people by doing this?

Personally i think we are seeing the end of Black Friday. I foresee more people shop online then face a mad crowd.
GOP House members came to Paul Ryan to be Speaker. He didn't come to them. And he was everybody's conservative darling back in 2012. So unless 1 of the remaining 240 wants to step up & do a better job in budgeting & negotiations & herding the party cats, then everybody please STFU. You go to battle with the army you have, not the one you want but don't have.

Kevin Davis

Offline SouthTexas

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Personally i think we are seeing the end of Black Friday. I foresee more people shop online then face a mad crowd.

Wouldn't bet on it.  Saw campers on the news Wednesday evening, some waiting for Friday. 

Fixing to go brave the crowds and hit the hardware store.  Where I live though, there will probably be all of six people there.  :laugh:

Offline Rapunzel

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Wouldn't bet on it.  Saw campers on the news Wednesday evening, some waiting for Friday. 

Fixing to go brave the crowds and hit the hardware store.  Where I live though, there will probably be all of six people there.  :laugh:

Unfortunately I HAVE to go out to Walmart today. I'm waiting until later in the afternoon when all the old folks go home for dinner.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline SouthTexas

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Unfortunately I HAVE to go out to Walmart today. I'm waiting until later in the afternoon when all the old folks go home for dinner.

I was wrong, there were four people there! 


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