There’s a pretty sad story from Walmart that you’ve probably heard about by now:
By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.
Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.
Damour’s injuries were fatal.
I almost always respond to things like this with a cold curiosity before anything else. So here is what I was curious about: Walmart was closed? Half of the reason I’ve historically shopped at Walmart is because it does not close. Not in the big city of Colosse or the rural locations in Deseret. I was vaguely aware that some did somewhere and maybe this is one of them.
I’ve always wondered how 24-hour stores handle events like this. I got a taste several years ago when John Fustle, Hubert Graham, Dennis Loxley, and I (maybe Web was there, too, I can’t recall) went around from location to location trying to get ahold of PlayStation 2’s when they were originally released. Walmart was one of the places that we stopped. I remember wondering how they would handle people piling up in their store for the release that was supposed to happen at 8:00 or so. Or maybe they would keep everybody in line outside the place or something. The answer, it turned out, was that they secretly started selling them at 6:00 and were sold out by 7:45 when we got there.