Posted At: December 9, 2013 11:30 a.m.
by Jessica Smith
Another Black Friday has come and gone, and with it a new trend arose: #WalmartFights. People used the Twitter hashtag to show pictures and videos of fights in Walmarts around the country.
On Black Friday morning Walmart CEO Bill Simon issued a press release explaining that Walmart opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving because that is the way the industry is heading. Simon also said the earlier opening time would ensure that Black Friday shopping is “bigger, better, faster, cheaper and safer than ever.”
According to the company, it had 10 million cashier transactions between 6 and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. While Walmart’s strategy to make more money might have worked, safety did not seem to be a big concern. When it came down to its relationship with the consumers, Walmart didn’t issue a comment about the fights until later on Friday:
“…From coast to coast, Walmart stores were crowded but mostly calm. Our safety plans worked and we’ve heard great feedback from our customers and associates.
Even as we served more customers this year across our more than 4,000 stores, the number of incidents was significantly down.”
The #WalmartFights trend created a PR nightmare for Walmart. Even though the number of incidents decreased, Twitter amplified the fights and made it seemed they were happening everywhere. With the trend of #WalmartFights, Walmart didn’t have a chance of putting out the fire.
Along with having to defend its decision to open on Thanksgiving afternoon, Walmart thought wristbands were the most orderly way to calm stampeding customers. The wristbands were offered between 6 and 8 p.m. and allowed customers to “return two hours after an event starts to pick up their purchases.”
#WalmartFights created entertainment for the people who decided to stay home from the madness and has now become the new Black Friday tradition.
Here are a couple of examples:
Steven Yeater: https://vine.co/v/hMXeh7jl0DK
@BromoSouthern: In other news Walmart has decided to change it’s name to Panem, and Black Friday is now known as The Bargain Games. #WalmartFights
Just for fun, Gawker.com has videos of the best fights.