Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Mayhem at the mall. Across the country, shoppers get hurt fighting over deals as stores try to cash in on Black Friday.
Meghan McCorkell has the nationwide frenzy and the shopping scene here in Maryland.
Many stores across the country opened earlier than ever. And that has some people literally fighting over deals.
The Black Friday blitz spirals out of control in Los Angeles.
“My eyes, my eyes! My eyes are burning!”
A woman inside a Walmart unleashed pepper spray on fellow shoppers.
“People started screaming and kids were on the floor, and then everybody just started inhaling it.”
In North Carolina, it was police who used pepper spray on a crowd after a fight broke out inside a Walmart.
“He was raining it over the whole crowd, so it would rain down on their heads,” shopper Gordon Jackson said.
In Arizona, a grandfather tackled by police after he was suspected of shoplifting. He was trying to help his grandson who was being trampled by crowds.
Shopping frenzy reached fever pitch as stores opened earlier than ever.
At Towson Town Center, shoppers were keeping the peace as they cashed in on deals.
The crowds turned out as 32 stores opened at midnight.
“Very crowded. No parking, no nothing,” a shopper explained.
McCorkell: “How excited are you for Christmas?”
Four-year-old Zyra Jackson: “Very excited!”
Stores excited about the turnout.
“If we do as well as we did today throughout our holiday season, we’ll have a very successful year,” said Angela Schultz, a Pandora employee.
“I think from what I’ve seen and what the retailers have told me, it’s been better than last year,” Charles Crerand, general manager of the Towson Town Center.
H.H. Gregg also swamped with midnight crowds.
“I think we got a whole different type of customer being open at midnight,” Dan Haswell of H.H. Gregg said.
Retailers hope big sales means a greener holiday season.
It appears the earlier openings may have worked. Retailers WJZ spoke with say they saw bigger crowds than ever before.
Analysts expect a ten percent jump in the numbers compared to Black Friday last year.