Shoppers are set to avoid the high street after the chaos that was Black Friday 2014.
82% of those polled in a recent study across the UK said that the mayhem of last year’s ‘Black and Blue Friday’ has put them off shopping in-store.
The research shows that Black Friday is now competing with boozy ‘Mad Friday’ as the busiest day of the year for emergency services.
For those shoppers who were brave enough to go instore for bargains last year, a whopping 39% saw others injured by falling goods or as a result of the overcrowding.
Footage of the infamous ‘Black and Blue Friday’ of 2014 went viral across the UK, with one video featuring a pensioner getting knocked to the ground as customers grappled for discounted TV’s.
Police were called to shops across England where fights broke up as people battled for the slashed prices.
A further 30% witnessed store staff losing their cool with shoppers in a bid to keep them calm, while 16% were shocked to see security guards breaking up scuffles.
But never fear – it seems it’s a case of technology to the rescue, as people are determined not to miss out on deals.
One third of us apparently have every intention of shopping online this Black Friday – from the safety of their home or workplace.
A spokesman for BlackFridayDeals.co.uk, which conducted the study of 2,000 shoppers, said:
“Trolley warfare literally broke out last year as desperate shoppers battled for the best bargains – and this included scrabbling for sale items, a tug-of-war with televisions and fights over technology.”
“After the madness of 2014, it’s not surprising more people are opting for the sanctuary of ecommerce.”
Black Friday 2014 – The Stats
• London: Officers called to three Tesco stores and an Asda amid fears of confrontations in heated queues.
• Burnage: 42-year-old man was arrested shortly after midnight at the Tesco Burnage superstore on suspicion of assault.
• Hattersley: Man arrested after reports of brawls in a 300-strong crowd at Tesco Hattersley.
• Salford: Man arrested shortly at a Tesco store on Woodrow Way after he threatened to “smash” a staff member’s face in.
• Cardiff: Police called over “customer conduct” after huge crowds turned up to a Tesco branch.
• Bristol: Officers sent to a Tesco in Eastville and in Brislington after there were reports of scuffles breaking out in the queue.
• Wembley: Footage from an Asda in Wembley showed people fighting over televisions.
• Greater Manchester: Seven Tesco stores in the Greater Manchester area saw disorder.
• Wigan: Several hundred people reportedly tried to storm a Tesco in Wigan.
• Ellesmere: Tesco had to be closed down because of overcrowding.
• Stretford: Tesco Extra in Stretford was shut just half an hour after opening its doors after fights broke out between shoppers and a woman was injured by a falling television.
• Glasgow and Dundee: Tesco stores at Silverburn in Glasgow and in Dundee were also temporarily closed to stop shoppers clashing over discounted goods.
7 deaths and 98 injuries in the States since Black Friday started in 2006.
Mad Friday Comparison
– Police in Manchester praise the ‘vast majority’ of people for their good conduct.
– 2014 dubbed “not so mad Friday” after successful campaigns to reduce public disorder.
– A 2014 report on the festivities notes that erratic behaviour was toned down, as a result of the increased awareness of the ruinous effects of instantaneous social media posts.
– Social media influencing crime rates, experts believe.
– Digital communications expert Warren Knight said: “People are 100% being more sensible than ever before because of social media – reputations can be lost in one night.”