Every year retailers across the country hold sales the Friday after Thanksgiving (“Black Friday“) in order to usher in a new year of profitability.
This year was much the same, except for Jdimytai Damour, 34, a temporary worker at a Wal-Mart in Long Island who was trampled to death by rabid, greedy consumers.
Wal-Mart described the incident as “unfortunate.“
Unfortunate is certainly one way to describe it. Deplorable is another. Disgraceful is one more. The holiday shoppers should be ashamed of their actions, actions that proved they valued second-rate consumer goods at discounted prices more than human life. The Wal-Mart management should be ashamed for allowing such a dangerous, unsafe display of greed.
The store has been widely criticized, especially by workers‘ unions, for not having planned well enough for the legion of avarice that assaulted their storefront.
“Each store takes its own precautions, extra precautions on busy days like Black Friday, to ensure there’s a safe shopping environment for our customers and our associates,” said corporate spokesperson David Tovar.
Obviously the precautions taken at this store were woefully inadequate. Not only was Damour killed in the stampede, but four other individuals, including a woman eight months pregnant, were taken to the hospital with injuries.
Shoppers told to clear the store by the police responded with complaints that they had been in line for hours.
Every facet of this incident is ridiculous. If companies wish to continue using Black Friday as a significant source of revenue, they have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of both shoppers and employees. Crazed consumers should exercise caution and common sense when negotiating the line between aggressive shopping and mob-like behavior.