Black Friday

Cha Thorpe

The annual Black Friday festivities that took place on Nov. 25  swarmed stores through out the United States with eager, buzzing crowds of people, all caught up in the mayhem for merchandise.

Big retailers anticipated massive numbers of shoppers to turn out for the event, but more happened that night than customers and retailers imagined. Line cutting and elbowing were the least of their worries.

In some cases, sales started the moment the clock struck midnight. Shoppers lined up and camped outside of stores the day before, prepared to get their hands on this year’s hottest items.

All of the pandemonium led to chaos from New York to California. Reports poured in from all over the nation of cases of violence breaking out in retail locations. Shoppers meant business and stores raked in unprecedented amounts of sales revenue, despite the blow-ups and beat-downs among the consumers.

Law enforcement was forced to intervene in a number of cases, all in the name of a discount. Injuries, accidents and arrests took place at dozens of retail locations across the nation.

“People were acting like they would never shop at another sale again,” said Black Friday shopper and JU junior Tashan Williams.

Saving money is at the forefront of many American minds. With the current state of the U.S. economy and retail marketing campaigns, shoppers were encouraged to partake in the shopping extravaganza. Yet, the results were lackluster.

“It was like a warzone, people fighting and being pepper sprayed. It was just no fun this year, and I’ve seen better sales,” said Orlando resident Sheronne Gilchrist.

Not all was lost; this year’s Black Friday had an estimated $11.4 billion in total sales, a rise of 6.6 percent from last year, according to the retail-data consultant ShopperTrak via USA Today.

Hot ticket merchandise such as Apple products and the latest additions in video games such as XBOX 360 and Wii flew off of shelves across the States.

Some shoppers, however, decided to play it safe this year and take advantage of Cyber Monday, shopping online as an alternative to big crowds and big problems at their local malls or shopping plazas.

“It’s never been my thing to go out the malls, especially on Black Friday. If its online and I can order it, I’d rather go that route. It such a convenience,” said Columbus, Ohio resident Adam Claytor.

Whether customers were bobbing and weaving through the hustle and bustle of the Black Friday frenzy or they filled their online carts, for many holiday shoppers it was serious business and they were ready to rumble.