Oh Black Friday- the insane shit-storm of holiday bargain-hunting that seldom fails to produce a body count to go along with the savings. Just in case you haven’t been following so far, here’s the word on the action so far:
- A 20-year-old man was shot dead and his brother was wounded in a shooting outside a Macy's store in New Jersey early Friday morning
- The shooting occurred at the Hamilton Mall in South Jersey as people lined up outside for shopping deals
- In Nevada on Thursday, a person was shot dead in a road rage incident in a Walmart parking lot in Reno
- A man in Tennessee suffered a gunshot wound after shots were fired at a mall in Memphis on Thursday (via DailyMail)
By my count, that’s a hell of a lot more than the 0 shootings usually required to go shopping. Of course, I’m going in here with the assumption that people value TVs and toasters less than they value human life. I’m beginning to believe I am wrong in this assumption.
This year’s craziness is apparently in good company- according to blackfridaydeathcount.com (yes there’s a website, why wouldn’t there be?), there were seven confirmed deaths, and 98 injuries reported between 2006 and 2014 as a result of Black Friday events.
During a time that’s supposed to be about holidays, family, and the spirit of giving, it’s disconcerting to watch mobs of crazed shoppers desperately trying to acquire items for children, friends, and family while simultaneously shitting all over the very sentiments in which these gifts are given in the first place. Yes, the irony runs deep.
So who wins? Shoppers? Yes, I suppose the deals offered are attractive, but videos like this should honestly make anyone wonder whether the whole ordeal is worth it.
It’s companies who really see the benefits when it comes to Black Friday shopping. According to CNBC, there might be more shoppers this week than there were voters in the recent election. That’s insane. Thank God no one put “flat-screen TV” on the ballot- it might have won the popular vote. But before you go any further, get a load of these numbers:
- Target said that it sold more than 3,200 TVs per minute in the first hour of store opening.
- Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren told CNBC that some 16,000 people piled into the company's Herald Square flagship store when it opened at 5 p.m. Thursday — roughly 1,000 more people than last year, when the store opened an hour later.
- Amazon said that customers ordered more than 100,000 toys within the first few hours of Black Friday.
- Wal-Mart said it sold 150 million pounds of turkey and ham this Thanksgiving. During the month of November, the big box retailer said it sold more than six pies per second. That's a lot of sweet potatoes.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll be looking for my bargains online rather than in line this holiday season. Hopefully, that means one less violent shopper will have to body-surf through a pile of discounted steamers.