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US Shoppers Flock to Stores Searching for Bargains

  • Chris Simkins

Shoppers across the United States rushed to stores to take advantage of discounts during the traditional Black Friday shopping spree, the day after Thanksgiving. The annual event kicks off the Christmas shopping season, generates big profits for stores and sends bargain-hunting consumers into a frenzy.

The holiday shopping blitz is on. U.S. retailers opened their doors to accommodate crowds of shoppers looking for deals. One woman paid $97 for each of these four flat-screen televisions.

"I saved $616. I'm feeling good, and I am really happy and excited, but I'm kind of tired too," said the woman.

But not everyone was happy. Fights broke out at some stores as shoppers battled for items. Long lines caused tempers to flare.

"Push one of my kids and I will stab one of you," said one male shopper.

At this Kmart in Indianapolis customers screamed at sales clerks when the store ran out of TVs.

"Everybody started going crazy about it, and then the police got called in, and it just became a madhouse," said a male shopper.

Retailers had hoped to prevent these scenes,which have caused injuries in the past.

For the first time, some major retailers opened on the Thanksgiving holiday [the day before black Friday] in an effort to make shopping more convenient and boost sales.

At Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, some workers walked off the job in protest. The demonstrations are part of a nationwide campaign to pressure Walmart into paying workers more and providing better benefits.

The protests didn't appear to hurt business. Retail expert Michelle Madhok said consumers find it hard to pass up so many deals.

"Electronics are going to be huge again. There's the iPad mini that everybody wants, the iPhone and for kids there's the LeapPad2," said Madhok.

In addition to offering cheap deals, retailers are expanding their hours, and many stores are offering free services and shipping. Analysts say it's all part of an effort to beat the competition.

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