More depressing news on the Wal-Mart (WMT) stampede turned deadly. After shattering the front door before the official open — yes, they actually shattered the door before trampling a security worker — the crowd kept shopping even when asked to stop:
Newsday: Shoppers who surged past the fallen Wal-Mart worker into the store were asked to leave by other store workers, some of them crying and visibly upset, said one shopper, Kimberly Cribbs, of Far Rockaway.
Though rumours circulated among the shoppers that someone had been badly injured, people ignored the Wal-Mart workers’ requests that they stop shopping, move to the front of the store and exit, Cribbs said.
“They kept shopping. It’s not right,” Cribbs said. “They’re savages.”
So it’s not just that the crowd was so eager to grab whatever deals were available that they trampled a security worker at the entrance, but even afterwords they were unwilling to take a timeout from deal hunting and come back later — when there wasn’t a death scene.
Meanwhile, the NYT report gets in a point about Wal-Mart’s efforts to avoid unionization of its workforce.
And though there’s no need to get too didactic, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of extreme behaviour in the presence of low prices. In 2005, a melee occurred when a school district decided to unload its old Mac laptops at the firesale price of $50 (pictured above).
BBC:More than 5,500 people queued for a chance to buy one of the 1,000 laptops and stampeded when the sale of the computers started.
In the crush 17 people were injured and four needed hospital treatment.
The four-year-old iBooks were being sold off cheap because Henrico County switched from Apple to Dell to supply laptops for its schools.
There’s somethign to be said for market prices.
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