I was just sent this, footage from a fight that broke out during the parade of people fighting over cheap TVs at a Wal-Mart. I worked Black Friday a couple of times as a Circuit City employee, including watching my store manager at the time, rolling out some more cheap portable CD players (ooh!), get knocked on his rump by people who couldn’t wait.
Pretty much whenever I see people doing this, I simply think of this:
My shopping habits were set early: Be creative with timing and avoid big crowds. For a number of years, I participated in a program called “Westfield Works Wonders,” something my local mall did where you made a $5 charitable donation and then were able to attend what effectively was a private sale on a Sunday night before Thanksgiving, when many of the stores offered special sales and it tended to be a calmer, more relaxed way to get Christmas shopping done.
Last year, I went to the Stamford mall closer to Christmas, when it was open until 11 p.m., and just plowed through my list in an hour because no one was there. I still maintain it’s easiest to go against the grain and just show up when most won’t bother.