Black Friday Has Come To Britain And It Looks Like Hell On Earth

What is happening to us?

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Everyone seems to be acting like this is normal in Britain at this time of year.

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But it's not. For a start, Black Friday is American: It's the day after Thanksgiving, when their retailers bring in heavy discounts on products. And it really only started to become a thing in the UK last year, when Amazon and Asda (which is, unsurprisingly, owned by an American firm), went big on it.

And now this is happening. Seriously.

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This is what the End of Days will look like.

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There were cheerleaders in Asda. Actual cheerleaders.

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Here's someone buying a load of TVs.

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(All of these depressing Vines are by Financial Times reporter Kadhim Shubber.)

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This appears to be some ladies fighting over underwear :(

View this video on YouTube

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Here's some horror from Dundee.

View this video on YouTube

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In this video you can see a woman straddling a TV like it's a horse.

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This video comes from Good Morning Britain reporter Richard Gaisford.

According to The Telegraph: "Police were called to four supermarkets in London as people gathered at Tesco stores in Edmonton, Willesden, and Surrey Quays and an Asda in Capitol Way, Edgware."

The BBC reported that police were called to 10 supermarkets overnight, with Greater Manchester police making "at least two" arrests and having to close a store in Trafford.

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Here's a Vine in which Guardian journalist Rupert Neate is told off by a security guard in Tesco for filming the carnage.

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Police also attended a Tesco store in Cardiff.

Matthew Horwood

It was in Western Avenue. Shortly after the sale started fighting broke out and police were called, and Tesco staff were forced to temporarily suspend sales.

Greater Manchester police chief Sir Peter Fahy criticised Tesco for failing to prepare properly.

He said the chaos was "totally predictable" and attacked the supermarket for failing to provide enough staff.

There's some evidence from the US that all these people might be wasting their time.

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The Wall Street Journal crunched "two to six years' worth of pricing data for a number of typical holiday gifts", and found many of them were priced below Black Friday levels at various times in the year.

Black Friday shoppers have been given a special queue to enter the shop #asda #wembley

Danielle Sheridan@SheridanDaniFollow

Black Friday shoppers have been given a special queue to enter the shop #asda #wembley

7:10 AM - 28 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

He told the show: "Retailers discount about 20% so they don’t have to discount 50% on Boxing Day. ... [You get] sales that wouldn't have happened. People like the drama."

The Telegraph's retail correspondent points out that the idea isn't really new.

Yes, #BlackFriday is US invasion. But pre-Christmas sales are not. Back in 2008 75% of big UK shops were on sale by first week of December

Harry Wallop@hwallopFollow

Yes, #BlackFriday is US invasion. But pre-Christmas sales are not. Back in 2008 75% of big UK shops were on sale by first week of December

7:48 AM - 28 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Economist, however, said Black Friday is still in an experimental stage. It reported:

John Lewis has entered the fray because it feels obliged to, always promising to be "never knowingly undersold". But many others, particularly smaller shops, are holding back and waiting to see what the consequences of such heavy discounting will be on the rest of the Christmas season.

Sigh.

ITV has reported that police actually attended seven stores in Manchester. According to the broadcaster:

"The Tesco Extra in Stretford was closed after fights broke out between shoppers. A woman suffered minor injuries after being hit by a falling television. The store closed just over half an hour after the sales started.

"Shortly after 1am, police were called to Tesco on Woodrow Way, Salford. One man was arrested on suspicion of assault after his conduct in store was challenged by staff. He threatened to 'smash' a staff member’s face in."

A third man has now been arrested, the broadcaster reports.