More than 22 million customers made 10 million register transactions at Wal-Mart stores on Thursday night, while the retailer was holding its Black Friday sales.
Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon called it a “fantastic night” and said the environment in stores was “energetic and optimistic and much more calm than it had been many years ago.”
Addressing videos posted online showing massive fights breaking out over televisions and other merchandise, Simon said, “any time you get more than 22 million people together you are going to have some behaviour that you’re not proud of.”
“I don’t know what happened there,” he added.
Overall, the number of incidents in stores was down during the four hours that stores were open between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, compared to last year, Simon said.
Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar chimed in, saying that “some of the [photos and videos] that got tagged at Wal-Mart weren’t even Wal-Mart.”
Simon said customers were calmer this year because they were with their families. On Black Friday, by comparison, fewer customers bring their kids along, he said.
“I think this is now becoming part of the Thanksgiving tradition,” said Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and COO of Walmart U.S.. “You’ve got turkeys, you’ve got stuffing, and now you’ve got shopping with the family.”
In stores and online Thursday, Wal-Mart sold 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets, , 2.8 million towels, 1.9 million dolls and 300,000 bicycles, according to the company.
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