Once again tempers flared as Black Friday shoppers from coast to coast headed to the stores this Thanksgiving holiday, and fists flew from California, to Indianapolis, to the East Coast. Even a few shoppers in England got into a tussle as British stores began their Christmas shopping season.
A Walmart in Norwalk, California was one of the early stages for a Black Friday brawl as shoppers got in a shoving match over deals on Barbie dolls. The “pushing and shoving” brought sheriff’s deputies to the scene at around 7PM on Thanksgiving night.
In another incident in California, several women were involved in a fight at a Tustin Khol’s for “unknown reasons,” and three arrests were made.
In Houston, Texas, a 15-year-old girl captured an imbroglio over a TV sale on her cellphone.
Another fight erupted in an Indianapolis mall as shoppers got a little too “rowdy” with at least two shoppers getting into a brawl in a parking lot.
Even in Jolly Old England, a Black Friday rumble broke out as a scrap between two men trying to wrestle the last big screen TV from each other ensued. The fight over the TV occurred at a Manchester, England Tesco supermarket on Friday night.
Naturally, Ferguson protesters also tried to get in on the Black Friday act, using the traditional shopping day as a platform to protest in Michael Brown’s name. The Missouri National Guard was on hand to make sure the attempt to disrupt shopping at St. Louis area Walmarts didn’t get too far out of hand.
In the past, Black Friday has turned deadly for shoppers and workers alike. In 2008, for instance, one Walmart worker was killed when shoppers rushed the front doors of the store in an attempt to get to the deals first.
But despite a few arrests for unruly conduct, thus far the really dire consequences were avoided this year, especially in the nation’s Walmart stores. There is a reason for that, a Walmart spokesman exclusively told Breitbart.
Director of National Media Relations for Walmart Brian Nick said that the retail giant had taken a lot of pains to create safe conditions for Black Friday shoppers over the last few years, and this year, the company greatly expanded those measures.
“On Thursday we served 22 million customers,” Nick said, “and we were prepared for this large volume.”
“We had a variety of systems in place such as crowd control and management plans, and those were developed by internationally recognized experts” in the field of security and crowd control, Nick told Breitbart.
To lighten the load and make shopping as smooth as possible, Nick said, “We also had more registers and checkout lines open than ever before.”
Additionally, Walmart expanded its use of on and off-duty local police officers in stores across the nation.
The retailer also allowed customers to get tickets for the hottest items instead of forcing everyone to be right there ready to grab an item off the shelves at the designated time. These tickets allow customers to purchase the item any time between Black Friday and Christmas, a policy that executives feel defused some of the most tense Black Friday moments.
Nick said that Walmart was quite pleased with this year’s Black Friday shopping experience. “We really did have a very successful Black Friday in terms of safety,” Nick said. “Walmart events throughout the country were well executed,” he added.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.