Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) December 08, 2009 -- Black Friday means different things to different groups of people, in different countries. For several it is when Friday is the 13th of the month, as it was on November 13th. For the United States, however, Black Friday is an annual event, which declares the start of the Christmas shopping spree.
The day millions of Americans hit the stores, is the day after Thanksgiving Friday 27th November. Some were still dressed in their pyjamas, keen to snatch up the bargains. Before dawn broke hordes of shoppers formed long queues outside stores. They thronged t like hungry seagulls dive bombing a fishing fleet, in their hunt for discounted products.
Many elbowed their way through crowds, taking hold of a deal and text messaging their victory to a friend, before zipping off to grab more bargains.
At 9 00a.m, Richard Javinett said "This is our last stop of the day", helping load two $99 TV credenzas, two $99 coffee tables on a rolling cart at Ikea. "We've already been to Sports Authority, Citrus Park mall, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. I think that's it."
The initial 200 shoppers going into the Queens Center Mall, in New York, received a $10 gift voucher, when the doors opened at 11.00 p.m. Incentives were everywhere.
The shopping frenzy last year proved fatal for some shoppers and staff, when a Wal-Street employee was trampled to death and some people were badly injured, in a shopping stampede of utter chaos. Two men died when they had a shoot-out in Toys 'R' Us in Palm Desert, California.
This year shop managers managed to control the chaotic crowds in a more civilized fashion and only the worst fights had to be broken up by police. The staff walked the waiting lines at some shops, taking orders in advance, then filling carts with those items, in order to save customers time, in the hope of lessening the crush. One shopper complained "It was horrible. You couldn't move".
Other stores remained open 24 hours, hoping to dampen down the competition among the shoppers. The feeding frenzy was expected to continue through Saturday and Sunday of the holiday weekend.
Black Friday is the country's biggest shopping day, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the retail industryâs annual sales. The question remains, will other countries pick up the challenge to also host a 'Black Friday'?
Many shoppers are now opting for 'Cyber Monday' on the Internet, rather than Black Friday in the stores.
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