Have we seen the end of the Black Friday stampede?

Shoppers congregate at Macy’s in New York City’s Herald Square on Black Friday 2017. (Photo: AP)

Black Friday is here, and with huge masses of shoppers seeking deals in malls and big-box retailers nationwide, confrontations are expected. This year’s events look to be on trend, but without some of the more widespread mob violence we’ve seen in years past.

A Missouri teen was shot outside a mall in Columbia, Mo., receiving life-threatening injuries. According to KQFX, the unidentified 19-year-old was accidentally shot by by another man as the two sat in a car in the mall’s parking lot. According to police, the first man had been trying to holster the weapon when it suddenly went off.

A fistfight broke out Thursday at a mall in Alabama just before closing time. Footage of the incident shared on Facebook shows two women throwing punches as police and security step in. Police and mall management believe the dispute was personal and not over holiday deals.

The two women were treated for minor injuries by paramedics.

Mike White, general manager of the Riverchase Galleria, told Yahoo Lifestyle in a telephone interview that the fight happened 20 minutes before closing time. “[Tthe fight] was not something that affected the bulk of the people who were there,” said White.

The Hoover Police Department issued a statement on Facebook Friday saying the fight was of a personal nature and not over merchandise.

 

The police department also says it responded to calls reporting gunfire outside the mall an hour later but could find no evidence of any weapons being fired.

Aside from these two incidents, Black Friday at the Riverchase has gone smoothly this year. With crowds surging peaceably through the shops and department stores, “it’s a further sign that the economy is on the upswing,” said White.

Elsewhere in the country, footage of a tug of war over a toy car at a Walmart has surfaced:

Four men can be seen grappling over it until staff step in and break it up. Neither group ends up getting the car.

While Black Friday has become known not only for its deals and long lines but also for the dustups that inevitably happen when shopping is transformed for one day into a full-contact sport, perhaps the steady and unstoppable growth of online shopping has made deal hunting a more nonviolent pursuit.

The deep-discount phenomenon exists not only in America. Black Friday deals were up for grabs at retailers around the globe and are marked with decorum and orderliness in places like Finland and the U.K.

Shoppers in both countries shared video footage of bargain hunters walking single file into stores in apparent parody of the free-for-all stampedes found in America.

“Oh, it was terrible,” writes YouTuber Toni ø in the description for his video. In it, a line of shoppers calmly file into a Finnish shopping mall.

BBC reporter Frankie McCamley tweeted a video of British shoppers doing the same:


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