By Emily Senger - Monday, November 26, 2012 - 0 Comments
The Black Friday shopping weekend turned tragic Sunday when a suspected shoplifter died after…
The Black Friday shopping weekend turned tragic Sunday when a suspected shoplifter died after an altercation with Wal-Mart staff in a parking lot in Lithonia, Georgia.
According to a report from The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the man was followed out of the store by two Wal-Mart staff and a security guard who was working for the company on contract.
The report says that the staff tackled the man in the parking lot. When police arrived the man was unresponsive and was declared dead at hospital.
Wal-Mart is investigating, spokesperson Dianna Gee said Sunday in a statement released Sunday. “No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” she said.
The man’s death was not the only violent incident to occur at a Wal-Mart during Black Friday sales.
In a Seattle Wal-Mart parking lot, a 71-year-old man hit two other shoppers with his SUV on Friday. He was arrested and charged with vehicular assault and police said they suspected he was drunk. A 28-year-old woman was also arrested in a Wal-Mart in Altamonte Springs, Florida on Black Friday.
Despite the negative publicity from the Georgia man’s death, analysts picked Wal-Mart as one of the success stories from Black Friday sales, as it integrated both its in-store and online deals during what is the biggest American shopping weekend during the year.
Monday reports also pegged 2012 as a better year for Black Friday sales overall, with shoppers spending, on average, $25 more between Thursday and Sunday than they did during the previous year.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM - 0 Comments
Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner’s question for the government side yesterday afternoon.
Mr. Speaker, Conservative import tariffs are forcing Canadian hockey families to pay $200 more to suit up their kids in hockey gear than American families pay. Tomorrow, on Black Friday, thousands of Canadian families will head south of the border to buy hockey gear to avoid this Conservative hockey tax. That creates American jobs in American cities. Why will the Finance Minister not give Canadian families a break this Christmas, help Canadian retailers and get rid of this job-killing hockey tax?
By Colin Campbell - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM - 1 Comment
This year, many big box retailers plan to open a little earlier than the normal 4 a.m.
The day after Thanksgiving is a quasi-religious shopping experience in the United States. It kicks off the all-important holiday shopping season with a day of frenzied buying amounting to over $10 billion in sales. This year, many big box retailers plan to open a little earlier than the normal 4 a.m.—some on Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day itself. Target, Macy’s and Best Buy will all open at midnight on Thanksgiving, reports the New York Times. Wal-Mart, the hours-expanding trailblazer of the bunch, will open at 10 p.m. Thursday. Critics say this is yet another sign of the evils of consumerism. Employees will have to work on the biggest holiday of the year, while shoppers will have to head to the mall before the turkey is even carved, if they hope to beat the lineups. But with recent data showing worrying signs that retail sales are slowing leading into the holiday season, retailers appear to be wisely searching for any kind of advantage—even if it’s only an extra hour or two with the tills open.
By Jason Kirby - Monday, January 10, 2011 at 9:40 AM - 6 Comments
US vs. UK: Stimulus spending vs. hard-nosed austerity
In late November crowds took to the streets in cities across the United States and Britain. As mobs rampaged and destroyed property, fights broke out and a number of victims were sent to hospital. By the time the ordeal was over, police had been called in to bring the unruly hordes under control, and two stunned nations were left to wonder how it had come to this. Mind you, those who rioted in the United Kingdom were students protesting deep government cuts to education spending. In America they were just Black Friday shoppers trampling each other to get to the discount bin at Toys “R” Us.
Since the Great Recession morphed into the Grudging Recovery last year, the U.S. and U.K. have taken radically different paths with their economic policies. In October, the coalition government of Tory Prime Minister David Cameron waged war on the country’s fiscal deficits with a vow to slash spending by $131 billion and raise taxes over the next four years. Meanwhile, across the pond, the Obama administration shook hands with Republicans last month to launch yet another round of stimulus in the form of temporary tax cuts and help for those out of work that will add US$892 billion to that country’s deficits over the next five years. While the British struggle to tighten their belts, American policy makers are doing everything they can to loosen theirs.
By Andrew Potter - Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 12:40 PM - 23 Comments
You’d think it’s a good time for progressives to rethink the vote-with-my-wallet notion. The planet should be so lucky.
Americans have two great loves, eating and shopping, and their Thanksgiving holiday is the occasion when they enjoy both activities in all their gluttonous splendour. But while the central concern of most Americans last week was how to avoid getting trampled in the Black Friday stampedes at the mall, a more conscientious group was stressing over the morality of the holiday menu: should the vegetables be organic, or local?
It turns out that if you’re actually serious about taste, health benefits, and environmental impact, the correct answer is “neither.” The dispute between organic and local is one of those enormously high-strung civil wars that sweep through the environmental movement from time to time. And like its most notable predecessor, the paper-or-plastic conflict that raged across supermarket checkout counters in the late 1980s, this is one of those fights that is a genuine sucker’s game: the only way you can win is by not playing.
The jig has been up for organic for a while now. Originally promoted as the magic bullet of the produce aisle, with better taste, health benefits and environmental grades than regular food, organic has turned out to be none of those things. It didn’t help the organic brand that Wal-Mart started selling by the gross to the ambulatory eating machines of Middle America, but at least its defenders could cling to the idea that an organic tomato or lemon was more nutritious than its conventionally grown counterpart.
By Jason Kirby - Monday, November 24, 2008 at 9:00 AM - 1 Comment
Even santas are suffering as retailers predict a grim holiday
Recently, the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas put their white-haired heads together to tackle a looming problem. The group represents about 700 St. Nicks for hire, and with the economy in a tailspin, some Santas have seen their bookings plunge by 50 per cent. When even the old guy himself has been struck down by the recession Grinch, it’s no wonder retailers are feeling spooked.
In a recent research report, Perry Caicco, an analyst at CIBC World Markets, predicted the fourth quarter of 2008 will be the worst in over two decades, based on discussions with retailers. Shortly after, U.S. retail sales figures for October came out showing a 2.8 per cent month-over-month drop—the largest since records began in 1992. Meanwhile, here in Canada, Deloitte & Touche has just released a survey showing that 40 per cent of Canadians plan to be a Scrooge this season and cut back on their spending.
In the U.S., some retailers are already announcing mammoth sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. Saks Fifth Avenue is currently offering 40 per cent off apparel, Neiman Marcus is offering the same off new arrivals, and a recent study found that 45 per cent of retailers are planning big discounts for “Black Friday,” the day after the American Thanksgiving. Even in Canada, where the economy has proven remarkably resilient, stores are following suit.
“It’s already happening here, I’m seeing some sporting goods retailers in Vancouver offering 50 per cent off of everything in the store,” says David Ian Gray, a retail consultant with dig360. “It’s sort of a panic button effect.” Last week Sears held a two-day “surprise” sale with prices on many products slashed between 25 and 40 per cent. Gray says there will be more bargains to come.
The problem for some retailers is that inventories were ordered months before the financial collapse. But even stores that anticipated the slowdown and scaled back are being hit. “All it takes is for one store that made a mistake to start deep discounting,” says Gray, “and then everyone has to do something.”