This year’s Black Friday has proven to once again be the biggest shopping day of the year with masses of people literally fighting for the best deals.
Photos and videos from all over the country show that stores are packed to the max with eager Black Friday shoppers lined up for this year’s sales.
The huge crowds of customers haven’t been deterred by stores opening hours early on Thursday to encourage shoppers with special Thanksgiving deals.
Americans spent around $1.75billion on Thanksgiving day, a whopping 29 per cent increase in sales compared to last year, with online sales significantly up, as well.
However, the early spending seems to have done little to slow down Black Friday sales appetites, with
One of the first fights of Black Friday mayhem happened on Thursday afternoon at a Walmart in Rockmart, Georgia.
A woman can be seen on the ground with a box of pots of pans, as a man tries to steal the package from her clutches, but she hangs on for dear life and keeps the goods to herself.
‘First fight of the night [woman shrugging emoji],’ Facebook user Kaitlin Bires wrote with the video, adding, ‘pioneer women pots and pans are no joke [laughing emoji].’
What’s ironic about the tussle is that there are several boxes of the kitchenware behind the man that people are grabbing from, which he completely ignored while he wrestled the woman to the ground.
Another clip of Black Friday chaos shows people doing whatever they can to snag a television at a department store.
One woman reaches over the crowd to yank a set out of the display, getting her grasp on one in the middle row before all of the TVs were taken from the top of the stack.
She succeeds in pulling a TV out of the pack, and then naturally, those on top then topple to the ground with nothing left below them to provide support.
The rest of the crowd doesn’t seem too bothered though, and appears happy to grab a discounted television that may or may not have been damaged in the fall.
Eager shoppers wait in queue outside for Black Friday sales at a Target store in Newport, Kentucky in the earlier hours of this morning
Macy’s is a huge hit with Black Friday shoppers with 70 per cent discounts on cookware and 40 per cent off of boots.
As of early morning Friday, Macy’s Herald Square, which has been open all night, is packed with a steady stream of shoppers, mostly tourists.
‘We got here at 4:30 a.m. We couldn’t go to sleep so we went shopping,’ says Shane Wilson, who arrived in Manhattan from London on Wednesday.
She’s buying shoes and boots at 40 per cent off.
Video games, TVs and stuffed toys are popular choices on Black Friday. Here some teddies sit in a shopping cart at a Target store in Westbury, New York
She said her next stop is Bloomingdale’s.
Nicole Battini, from Bologna, Italy showed up with a friend at Macy’s at 5am after a night of clubbing. Battini, who arrived in New York earlier this week, is looking for shoes, a handbag and a coat. Then she says she’s going to sleep.
‘Tomorrow, we go back to clubbing,’ she says.
Target is also a popular destination for shoppers in the early hours of Black Friday. The store says that it’s had more than double the customers on its app, compared to last year.
The most popular items are TVs, iPads, and Apple Watches. Among the most popular toy deals are Lego, L.O.L. Surprise from MGA Entertainment and Mattel’s Barbie.
Target says that gamers are also picking up video game consoles like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Retailers are offering new ways for shoppers to get deals online and in-store easier and faster in the age of instant gratification.
Walmart is introducing a digital map on its mobile app to make it easier for shoppers to find an item’s exact location in the store.
Black Friday has started early for some shoppers in the US who could be seen rushing to popular stores to pick up bargains before the traditional 12am start
This Best Buy store in Chicago saw shoppers pile inside late at night and determinedly push their trolleys around the store
Customers flocked to stores like Best Buy to pick up TVs and other electronic goods at discounted rates before Black Friday morning
Eager people rushing through the doors of the Macy’s store in New York City during the early hours of Black Friday shopping
Kohl’s has a new feature on its mobile app that lets customers take photos of products anywhere and find similar items at the department store.
And customers, frustrated with long checkout lines, can check out at Walmart and other stores with a salesperson right on the spot.
Shoppers are also enjoyng new free shipping options. Target leapt in front of Walmart and Amazon to offer two-day free shipping for the holidays without any minimum purchases. Online leader Amazon followed, dropping its $25 minimum. Walmart is still sticking with its $35 threshold.
There were fears that the spread out nature of Thanksgiving shopping would slow down Black Friday sales – but customers are clearly still ready to splash the cash.
This person seems to be well into the Black Friday spirit and can be seen carrying a pile of discounted Playstation and Xbox video games
Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving in the US, has been beset by violence and angry scenes in recent years but these shoppers looked more than happy to queue up
A huge team of staff at Target gear up in the final moments before the doors open on Black Friday in Maple Grove, Minnesota
‘Retailers are pulling out all the stops to get shoppers earlier with online deals and using online to push shoppers in the store,’ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser at the NPD Group, a market research group. ‘I think overall spending will be decent.’
The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, is expecting holiday retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – to increase as much as 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total of $720.89 billion. The sales growth marks a slowdown from last year’s 5.3 percent, which was the largest gain since 2010. But the figure is still healthy.
Bargain hunters were seen flocking to stores like Best Buy late at night to pick up some bargains and beat the mad Black Friday morning rush.
They were seen joining long queues all over the country as they fought to make sure they picked up the best offers before anyone else.
Shoppers were ready and waiting for the 2pm opening of the JC Penney store in the Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, North Dakota
A large crowd of people push through and shop during a Black Friday sales event at Macy’s flagship store on 34th St. in New York City
Grinning shoppers have been spotted carrying huge TVs between them while others pushed trolleys laden with discounted goodies.
Photos show customers flocking to a Best Buy store in Chicago, Illinois and carrying piles of reduced electronics and video games joyfully in their arms.
Before it even hit 8pm, people could be seen carrying out large television screens from Best Buy in New York.
Most Macy’s and Best Buy stores got a very early start on Black Friday, bypassing the once popular midnight openings to unlock their doors at 5pm on Thursday instead.
Shoppers could be seen entertaining themselves on their phones or guzzling down coffee as they waited in line together
People carry a television out of a Best Buy during a sales event on Thanksgiving day in Westbury, New York on Thursday
Hundreds of shoppers filed into Macy’s flagship store in New York on Thanksgiving afternoon (pictured) on Thursday
Online Thanksgiving day sales also broke records at $3.7 billion, far surpassing last year’s $2.9billion, according to CNN.
Americans spent $4.15billion total just online between Wednesday and 5pm Eastern on Thursday. Sales increased by 32 percent on Wednesday alone to $2.4billion, over figures from last year.
Wednesday was also the first time in online shopping history that 50 percent of online shopping was done through cell phones.
It is predicted that appliances, clothing, and jewelry will be the most popular items this holiday season.
And when it comes to electronics, Amazon Echo speakers, Amazon Fire TVs, and Nintendo consoles have been the biggest sellers in November.
People wait in line to shop at Best Buy during a sales event on Thanksgiving day in Westbury, New York before the official start of Black Friday
A spectacle for all ages: Teenagers are known to be especially big fans of Black Friday sales and some could already be seen adding games and other electronic devices to their collection
People can hire professionals to wait in line for them for Broadway tickets, iPhone drops, restaurant reservations and then switch spots once the sitter reaches the front
Early shoppers at a Best Buy store in Washington carrying a brand new Samsung TV between them as they dodge the queues
Shoppers are waiting for doors to open during Black Friday at Macy’s store on 34th St in New York
How bargain hunters are paying line sitters up to $35 an hour to queue outside stores ahead of Black Friday
In other news, busy bargain hunters can now pay people up to $35 an hour to wait in line for them on
Time poor, money rich millennials don’t have to waste their precious hours idling in line for Broadway tickets,
Some entrepreneurs who have set up the so-called line sitting companies said that they are doing a brisk trade.
‘People don’t have a lot of time,’ Jennifer Goff, the founder and CEO of Skip the Line told
Jennifer Goff (left) is the founder of Skip the line and Darren Hromadka (right) founded the InLine4You app which are busier than ever, according to the entrepreneurs
‘This is a service that really helps them to be able to do what they want to do’.
Goff’s venture started in June 2017 when a Game of Thrones pop-up bar debuted in Washington, DC.
Fans turned out in force for a chance to drink The North Remembers cocktails and sit on the Iron Throne, and Goff took notice of the huge volume of people waiting hours to get in.
‘Before I had a business plan, it was a way to make extra money.
‘I [would approach] people in line and [say] I’m here if they want me to wait [for them].
‘They can go get a drink somewhere, go get food. I’ll keep them updated with text messages and photos’.
The most well-known business is Same Ole Line Dudes in New York City, which dispatches people to wait in lines for sample sales, Saturday Night.
Darren Hromadka got into the line-sitting game when he learned his colleagues in Omaha, Nebraska, were paying college students to hold seats for them at Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting.
Some 40,000 attendees turn out for a three-day event nicknamed the Woodstock of Capitalism.
The inlineforyou app allows people to Hire a ‘tasker’ to stand in line for restaurants, special events, concerts and more
Hoppers can post requests on the inlineforyou app and say how much they’re willing to pay and spotters claim the gigs. Hoppers take a cut of the money
Some people even wake up before dawn in order to get good seats to see Warren Buffett speak.
Buffett himself told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that hiring a person to stand in line for seats to the meeting is ‘probably what I would do’.
Hromadka thought there had to be a better way to bring together people who want a spot in line and people who are willing to do the work.
He classified each group, calling them hoppers’ and spotters respectively and founded the InLine4You app.
Hoppers can post requests on the app and say how much they’re willing to pay, and spotters claim the gigs.
The average price is about $25 an hour. When the hopper shows up to take the spotter’s place in line, InLine4You processes the payment.
‘It is giving the gift of time,’ explained Hromadka, whose app is available nationwide and has about 22,000 downloads.
Another entrepreneur who set up an app called Same Ole Line Dudes is busy at particular times of the year. He said tourists flood New York City looking for Hamilton tickets and more holiday-specific events.
He is currently recruiting line-sitters to reserve spots at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, for which they’ll get time and a half, but have to deal with crazy crowds and frigid temperatures.
Skip the Line and Same Ole Line Dudes operate similarly, though they have set rates.
Skip the Line charges about $30 an hour for most events; Same Ole Line Dudes costs $45 minimum for two hours.
Both have variables that can drive up prices, like bad weather, event popularity or delivery options.
Becoming a line sitter involves a lot of free time and patience so the job is perfect for students and retirees.
Another crucial quality is a willingness to take on jobs, as Samuel said: ‘It’s an easy gig to get, but it’s also easy to get let go from if an employee doesn’t regularly fill requests’.
Black Friday fever spreads across the world: Carnage breaks out in stores as shoppers clamber over each other to get a bargain
Black Friday fever has spread across the world with carnage breaking out in stores and shoppers clambering over each other to snap up deals.
Scuffles broke out amid chaotic scenes at one store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where crowds of bargain hunters scrambled to get their hands on cheap televisions.
Footage purportedly taken this morning also shows frantic shoppers storming into shops in South Africa.
The clip was reportedly captured at ‘game’ in Baywest Mall, Port Elizabeth, as its metal shutters were opened for the day.
Bargain hunters: There were chaotic scenes as shoppers made a frantic dash for discounted televisions at a department store in Sao Paulo, Brazil
A separate video shot at an unknown location in South Africa shows an armed guard patrolling a mall as crowds descend on a shop. A man can be seen desperately trying to beat queues by scrambling over a metal barrier.
In Barakaldo, near Bilbao, Spain, long queues were pictured outside a department store advertising Black Friday deals.
In the US, a teenager was killed and two others injured following a shooting at an Alabama shopping centre prior to Black Friday shopping.
Authorities say the shooting happened about 9.30pm local time on Thursday at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, a nearby suburb of Birmingham.
Police say a fight between two teenagers, including an 18-year-old, resulted in an exchange of gunfire. One teenager fled but was confronted by two Hoover police officers.
Captain Gregg Rector said at a news conference that a Hoover officer ‘did engage that individual, shot him and he is dead on the scene’.
The second teenager was taken to hospital and is in a serious condition. Police said a 12-year-old girl also struck by gunfire was in hospital.
Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, was so named because spending in the United States would surge and retailers would traditionally begin to turn a profit for the year – moving from the red into the black. It falls on November 23 this year.
The Black Friday concept still divides opinion.
Keep cool and carry on: A member of staff was pictured trying to calm crowds as he stood on a display in a shop in Sao Paulo on Black Friday
Supporters say carefully planned, targeted promotions in close co-operation with global suppliers allow retailers to achieve a sales boost while still maintaining profit margins.
Naysayers argue the discounts suck forward Christmas sales that could otherwise be made at full price and can dampen business in subsequent weeks.
Meanwhile, Britain’s retailers are hoping Black Friday discounts will get shoppers spending again after a torrid year for much of the sector.
A string of store groups have gone out of business or announced shop closures this year as they battle subdued consumer spending, rising labour costs, higher business property taxes, growing online competition and uncertainty over Brexit.
Toys R Us UK, Maplin and Poundworld have all gone bust, while Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Mothercare and House of Fraser are between them shutting hundreds of stores.