Shopping on Black Friday is always a gamble. You could score some great deals and have a blast doing it, or you could become caught up in the shopping madness and possibly become injured. At some stores, there are consistently mobs of overzealous consumers, so you may want to avoid these retailers to make it through the day unscathed.
While Walmart does offer some great deals on electronics, even handing out vouchers if they run out of a product, this mega store is prone to massive crowds and several instances of customer violence on Black Friday. Tensions run high because there usually isn’t enough of every discounted item, so sometimes people resort to desperate measures, such as pepper spray, guns, and threatening behavior. There has even been an incidence of customers trampling an employee, who then perished from his injuries. While it is still very rare to become the victim of this sort of violence, it is definitely not uncommon to be pushed and shoved by hundreds of people in this store.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us may be the last place you expect to encounter gun violence, but on Black Friday, that may not be the case. A couple years ago, two women began fighting over a toy, then their male companions pulled out firearms and murdered each other inside the store. It is quite unlikely that you will ever be faced with this situation, but it is still a possibility. Parents want the best for their children, and, unfortunately, this sometimes means that they will go to outrageous lengths to buy the toy their child wants.
Target offers some fantastic bargains on electronics, appliances, and various other items, but it may come at a price. In 2011, a man collapsed and died on the floor of a Target store while other customers ignored him and stepped over his body. He may not have gotten injured at the store, but there were only a small number of people who tried to help. When everyone in a large store is so focused on shopping, they probably will not notice fellow shopper in need.
Best Buy is probably the number one store on quite a few shopper’s lists, but consider the possible outcomes before you rush there to buy a new laptop. With so many people in the store at one time, it can be difficult to identify and catch shoplifters, but when they are apprehended, they could panic and harm those around them. At one Best Buy, a shoplifter was caught slipping a laptop under his coat, and when a Marine tried to stop him, the man stabbed the Marine with a knife.
Most Black Friday violence is initiated by consumers, but sometimes it comes from police officers trying to stop crimes. A few years ago, a man was suspected of shoplifting at Kohls, so police officers began shooting at his vehicle in the parking lot, which could have injured bystanders. Always be aware of your surroundings at large chains to keep you and your loved ones safe on Black Friday, and if possible, shop online for great bargains.