Wal-Mart Black Friday’s Event
November 28, 2008 was expected to be a sales day for Long Island Wal-Mart but it ended up being tragic bringing the low profile store into the national limelight. Jdimytai Damour aged 34 died when a stampede occurred at the door as unruly shoppers clamored for shopping. A couple of shoppers were injured in the stampede; this includes an eight months pregnant woman who was seriously injured. According to eye witnesses, shoppers began queuing outside the store even before daybreak, by the time of the 5. a. m.
early opening time, there were close to two thousand shoppers urging the Wal-Mart management to open the doors. Upon realizing there was an intention by the shoppers to force open the doors, workers formed a ring around the entrance but were overpowered by the shoppers who pushed and broke down the doors. The worker was thrown off guard and knocked to the ground where he was trampled upon by the ensuing stampede. Efforts to resuscitate him proved futile and he was pronounced dead at 6 am. This is an incident that aroused much media interests especially focusing on who was responsible of the workers death.
A critical look of the prevailing situation and also of the measures erected by the store indicates the store was indeed to blame for the stampede. Black Friday’s shoppers stampedes have been common especially in the Wal-Mart stores but never before had they turned out to be this tragic. Black Friday simply refers to a Friday towards the end of November after thanksgiving when shoppers are treated to a day of cheap deals as major retail outlets have discounted prices for the most popular goods.
Sometimes, these offers can be extended to more than a day. Black Fridays are known to turn violent and unruly as shoppers scramble for their shopping. A look at this particular day indicates a similar trend; the shoppers were in their droves and were proving exceptionally unruly. Wal-Mart’s management however in sight of the worsening situation did not take adequate security measures. Many agree that Wal-Mart was culpable, had they taken sufficient procedures, Jdimytai Damour’s death could have been avoided (Gould, Trapasso & Schapiro)
Looking at the event of the day, there was laxity in handling of the shoppers and the store did not erect the necessary measures to manage the stampede. As has been indicated, hundreds of shoppers started lining up hors before the opening hours. From the eyewitnesses account, it was obvious that they were slowly getting agitated and impatient with the management and were shouting for the doors to be opened. The workers, obviously outnumbered still opted to form a ring to prevent the shoppers’ entry. As afore mentioned, due to the attractive discounted prices for the day, black Fridays attract immense shoppers.