Jessica Ferrante, Staff Writer
April 1, 2012
Filed under Opinion
Every store has had their fair share of problems, but Wal-mart takes the prize with their Black Friday Horror stories, bizarre shoppers’ dress habits, and the frequent injuries—both fatal and non-fatal—that occurs at chain Wal-mart stores on a regular basis. At the Wal-mart on Sisk Road on January 2,2011 there was a confrontation between two groups of people that resulted in gunfire and car s getting fresh bullet holes punched into them. The shoppers’ reaction? There really wasn’t much of a reaction at all—they still came the next day despite the endangerment.
In December 2011, there were several incidents across the U.S. in all sorts of Wal-marts ranging from assaults on people who were trying to steal purchases, assaults by police who thought people were trying to steal purchases, crowds being pepper-sprayed, fights breaking out in the pre-Black Friday lines outside, adults (and kids) being trampled, and so on. All this was due to the low, low Black Friday prices that Wal-mart offered their customers, which helped to stimulate the hype and mayhem.
There’s even a site dedicated to the shoppers at Wal-marts all over that posts pictures of people who wear whatever they feel like slapping on (and the most of the time, they should have stayed home rather than go out the door).
It’s common knowledge that Wal-mart is a multi-purpose store that offers lower prices than their leading competitors (namely Target) and is steadily gaining a larger foothold across the world. Wal-mart boasts 3, 800 stores in the U.S. alone and over 600 Sam’s Club warehouse outlets. And it’s scrambling for more room in its ever-expanding empire. The chain is “scouting out smaller storefronts in New York, San Francisco, Detroit, and other big cities” which could very well spell doom for struggling stores in the determined vicinities that have been in family ownership for generations, according to The Week Magazine.
Although Wal-mart might be helping stimulate the floundering economy, it is still proving to be troublesome (and yes, dangerous) for the people who shop there. Police trying to break up fights or apprehend people during discount sales gone wild often resort to extreme force i.e. pepper spray, stun guns, and physical force.
Parents who bring their kids along with them during such sales are at risk, since small children could be easily trampled or seriously injured if they were to fall down amongst a fanatical crowd of shoppers. Those who shop at Wal-marts on Black Friday and exit the doors of the mega-store with bounty in hand are easy targets for others wanting to make off the the pricey goods. Would-be-thiefs don’t care if the people are willing to give up their items or not. They’ll use whatever means necessary to get their hands on the purchases, which is in most cases a loaded gun.
The shoppers are also to blame too. They often behave recklessly and without any consideration for the person in front of them as they mash their way through the doors. Describing a video of a frantic mob of shoppers attacking a display of $2 waffle irons on Black Friday at a Wal-mart near Little Rock, Ark., Max Read of Gawker labeled the chaos as “mindless violence and a complete lack of concern for one’s fellow human beings”.
Before going to Wal-mart to do shop for cheap goods, think about how Wal-mart affects the community. And if you do go to Wal-mart, be careful.