Today is Black Friday. For those outside the USA, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (always the last Thursday in November), traditionally the day all these big stores start their sales and the biggest retail day of the year. Hence the name, it's the day when most retail stored go out of the red and into the black for the year.
Every year stores offer fantastic savings (I got one hell of a nifty digital camera for $60), and usually offer "doorbusters".
Doorbusters are expensive items at massive discount, that go on sale--usually at 5am--and when they're gone, they're gone. It's kinda like the concept of the loss-leader. People come for the doorbuster and, because they've all gone, buy other stuff at much less of a discount.
As a result of these, people queue for hours. In November. In the wee hours of the morning. And, come 5am, the doors are open and it's one big stampede. People get knocked over, trampled, stuff gets crushed. It's chaos.
That's why I ordered my camera online. No crowds, see?
This morning, however, a worker at the Long Island Walmart was trampled to death in the crush. So intent were the shoppers on getting those bargains that the doors were smashed off of their hinges and 200 people ran over this guy after he was knocked to the floor. The same crowd narrowly avoided foisting the same fate on a pregnant woman, who was hospitalised after being knocked over herself.
Crazy. Just crazy.
Hat tip to AMERICAblog