Walmart on Black Friday: Great Deals and Horrific Violence


Recently, we shared our top picks for deals on laptop computers and tablets for Black Friday. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprised that Walmart appeared several times on that list – more often than any other retailer (including Amazon and Best Buy).

Walmart offers some amazing deals on Black Friday – enough to draw crowds as early as 6pm on Thanksgiving afternoon.

However, with great crowds also comes great responsibility.

Crowds are volatile, difficult to control, and, when pitted against hundreds of other desperate shoppers competing for the same limited number of Xbox One bundles, occasionally violent.

Every year, Walmart has problems with violence on Black Friday.

Really, what is it with Black Friday violence and Walmart? The two seem inexplicably linked.

Walmart Fights Black Friday Deals

  • In 2008 Jdimytai Damour, a temporary holiday worker at the Valley Stream Walmart in New York, was trampled to death by hoards of eager shoppers who actually broke into the store 5 minutes before it was scheduled to open.
  • In 2009 law enforcement officers had to be called to a Walmart in Florida at 5:00am, when customers started trading blows trying to score a new GPS.
  • In 2011, a woman in the Porter Ranch Walmart (in the San Fernando Valley) pepper sprayed twenty other shoppers at roughly 10:20pm. She wanted one of the store’s discounted Xbox consuls and assumed pepper spraying her competition would give her a better chance of getting one.
  • Also in 2011, a family was robbed and shot in the parking lot of a Walmart in California’s Bay Area. No one was killed, but the father of the family was hospitalized.
  • In 2012, a couple was hit by a 71-year-old drunk driver while waiting in line for the store to open. Both were helicoptered to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and survived.
  • In 2013, an argument over parking spaces 6:30pm Thursday evening at the Walmart in Claypool Hill turned violent. One of the men stabbed the other in the arm with a knife. Both were arrested.

Some people have dubbed Walmart as the most dangerous place to shop on Black Friday. The stores combine “door-busting deals” with underpaid employees and desperate  shoppers.

Black Friday 2014 won’t be any different. Our advice is to avoid confrontation with other shoppers, don’t fight over parking spots, keep your eyes wide open for drunk or exhausted drivers, and use your common sense.

black-friday-meme

Or, you know, wait an extra week and pay the extra $20 for that Xbox One. Waiting in line for hours and elbowing elderly people out of the way to get those “door-busting deals” isn’t always worth it.

To follow the death/injury count for Black Friday 2014, check out the website Black Friday Death Count.

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Grace

Grace Buchele Mineta is a quirky Texan freelancer, living in Tokyo with her Japanese salaryman husband. She runs the blog “Texan in Tokyo”, where she draws comics about her daily life as a newlywed navigating silly cultural misunderstandings as an interracial couple.

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