Black Friday: the biggest disasters

Is that bargain really worth it?

AR3A35 Sale signs in window of High Street store with moving shoppers carrying bags in foreground

Black Friday gets its name for a very negative reason: back in the 1960s, the day after Thanksgiving was notorious in the US for chaos and traffic jams, as customers fought their way to the stores.

And while most of us associate it simply with a good haul of bargains - or sore feet, at most - it can still go badly wrong for some.

This year, it falls on 25 November and, according to PwC, will see a quarter of a million UK shoppers spending £3 billion on bargains of every kind. But if previous years are anything to go by, there could be a hiccup or two on the way; we look at a few of the worst Black Friday disasters.

Queue jumping
When a man tried to jump the queue at Sears on Black Friday 2012, the person behind didn't take it well. But rather than meekly returning to the back of the line, the man threw a punch at the complainer instead. This being Texas, the complainer was legally carrying a gun - and took it out to threaten the queue jumper. Order was restored, and shopping was carrying on as normal within minutes.

Stampede
Stampedes are regrettably common on Black Friday, with customers regularly knocked to the ground. In New York in 2013, though, things got a great deal worse. Jdimytai Damour, a temporary security worker at Walmart was mown down by obsessed customers and killed, while an eight-months-pregnant woman lost her baby. Four other people were seriously injured.

Tesco chaos
In 2014, there were shocking scenes at Tesco stores in Manchester and elsewhere. In Middleston, around 200 shoppers refused to leave, despite being told that the stock had all gone. Fights broke out between shoppers in Stretford, and a woman suffered minor injuries after being hit by a falling television. Meanwhile, in Salford a man was arrested after threatening to smash a member of staff's face in.

Heart attack
In 2011, 61-year-old Walter Vance was shopping at a Target store in South Charleston when he had a heart attack and collapsed. But, said witnesses, he wasn't given any help by other shoppers, who simply stepped over his body. It was only when he was spotted by an off-duty nurse that an ambulance was called. Mr Vance later died in hospital.

Pepper spray
In 2011, a young woman doused the crowd with pepper spray to clear her way to an Xbox at a Black Friday sale in Los Angeles. The same year, an off-duty policeman did the same in Kinston, North Carolina - and got himself arrested for his pains.



Top ten facts about Black Friday

Top ten facts about Black Friday

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