The Craziest BFCM Moments: When Shoppers Went Too Far for Deals
September 19, 2023
When Retail Goes Wrong You're Better Off Online Shopping
Every year, as the holiday season approaches, shoppers around the world eagerly await Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) deals. These days promise unbeatable discounts and once-in-a-lifetime offers. However, the allure of slashed prices has often led to chaos, both in physical stores and online. From in-store brawls to crashing websites, here are 10 of the most outrageous BFCM moments that have made headlines.
The TV Tumble
In an era where technology dominates our lives, the demand for affordable electronics has skyrocketed. This was evident when shoppers were seen throwing themselves onto discounted televisions. The frenzy was not just about the discount but the status and joy of owning a big-screen TV.
The Tragic Stampede
The excitement of Black Friday can sometimes overshadow the human cost. The trampling of a worker in a Long Island Walmart is a grim reminder of the dangers of uncontrolled crowds. This incident sparked debates on the ethics of such sales and the responsibilities of retailers.
Fists Fly Over Flat Screens
The holiday spirit seemed forgotten when a video clip emerged showing shoppers physically fighting over flat screen TVs. The intensity of the brawl, which even involved store securities, highlighted the extreme emotions these sales can evoke.
The Victoria's Secret Scuffle
Fashion and desire collided when shoppers at a Victoria’s Secret Store were captured fighting over limited-edition garments. The allure of exclusive fashion items can sometimes push individuals to act out of character.
Walmart Woes in Texas
Walmart, being a hub for Black Friday deals, has seen its fair share of chaos. In Texas, the situation escalated to a point where violence erupted among shoppers, making many question the true cost of a discount.
The Online Outrage
Black Friday sales started earlier this year, leading to technical issues for many retailers. Websites like Walmart and GameStop experienced crashes even before Thanksgiving. Bob Buffone, CTO at Yottaa, highlighted that many companies weren't prepared for the surge in traffic. He emphasized the importance of load testing websites to handle at least five times their regular traffic. Adobe Analytics data showed that online shoppers spent $2.4 billion on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, a 31.8% increase from 2017. This trend continued on Thanksgiving Day, with sales reaching $1.75 billion by 5 p.m., a 28.6% growth from the previous year.
Lululemon, Ulta, JD Sports, Game, and Debenhams were among the brands that faced website crashes due to high traffic. Sam Rutley from PushON pointed out that some UK retailers, despite experiencing similar issues the previous year, were still unprepared for the Black Friday rush. Buffone warned that unpreparedness during Black Friday could be more detrimental than on regular shopping days, as customers can easily switch to other sites, leading to significant financial losses and brand damage, especially when shoppers voice their frustrations on social media.
Retail Ruckus Online
Experts, as quoted by Business Insider, believe these technical issues stemmed from inadequate infrastructures that couldn't handle the sudden spike in online traffic. Bob Buffone, CTO at Yottaa, emphasized that without testing a website's ability to manage traffic at five times its average, crashes are inevitable.
The financial implications of these technical setbacks were substantial. For instance, J. Crew might have missed out on $775,000 in sales, disappointing over 323,000 customers on Black Friday alone. Buffone pointed out that such technical failures not only lead to immediate revenue loss but can also damage a brand's reputation, especially in today's digital age where unhappy customers can quickly vent their frustrations on social media platforms.
The Doorbuster Duel
The term "doorbuster" implies a deal so good that shoppers would break down doors to get it. This was almost literal when men wrestled each other for a coveted item, showcasing the raw intensity of human desire.
Electronics Over Empathy
In a world driven by technology, the demand for the latest gadgets is insatiable. This was evident when a clip from Walmart showed Americans putting electronics over empathy, engaging in physical altercations.
Marines in a Melee
Discipline and honor are traits associated with Marines. However, the BFCM frenzy knows no bounds. A video from Murrieta Walmart showed two Marines in a physical confrontation, proving that even the disciplined aren't immune to the allure of a deal.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer incredible opportunities for shoppers. However, these incidents remind us of the importance of safety, patience, and respect. As we look forward to the next BFCM, let's prioritize human values over fleeting discounts.