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Waffle Maker Riot Captured

Black Friday 2011 has seen its share of noteworthy, bargain-fueled madness.

Shoppers lined up earlier than ever to take advantage of midnight openings and to get discounts at some stores that even opened on Thanksgiving Day. There have been reports of shoppers pepper spraying one another in the hunt for deals and even robbers shooting Black Friday customers to get their loot.

And now, crazed shoppers reportedly got in a fight over $2 waffle makers at a Wal-Mart near Little Rock, Arkansas WBTV reports.

After the video went viral, sites all across the web began to offer their commentary. Gawker wrote that the video embodies everything that’s “awesome” about America, including the “horrible economy, aggressive consumerism, mindless violence and a complete lack of concern for one’s fellow human beings.”

Meanwhile, Reddit wonders if waffle makers could spawn a new slew of riots.

Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post

 Pepper Spray Shootings Among This Year’s Shocking Weapons

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Authorities say 20 people had minor injuries when a woman shot other customers with pepper spray during a Black Friday sale.

Police Lt. Abel Parga says she was trying to keep other shoppers away from the merchandise she wanted.

The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday in a crowded Los Angeles area Walmart as shoppers hungry for deals were let inside the store.

Officials said 20 people suffered minor injuries. At least half of those were caused by crowd jostling after the spraying.

Parga says police are still looking for the woman.

The store remained open and those not affected by the pepper spray continued shopping.

Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Deals and Earlier Openings Help With Retail Sales

Black Friday: It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year — famous for long lines, huge deals and shopper stampedes. And this year, even in a down economy, shoppers are expected to show up in droves.

The National Retail Federation estimates that the number of shoppers hitting stores the day after Thanksgiving will be up 10 percent from last year. And retailers are getting more competitive to get them to their stores. Electronic store officials say they’re going to be “playing offense” to get consumers to spend on TVs. Some retailers are offering bottom barrel prices on hot video games to lure shoppers.

Others are maximizing the number of hours they’ll have shoppers wandering their aisles. Target, Macy’s and Best Buy are all opening their stores at midnight, while Toys R Us and Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, will be inviting deal-seekers inside late on Thanksgiving Day.

Some say the store openings may be getting too early, including employees at Target and Best Buy, who have launched online petitions asking the stores not to open at midnight on Black Friday so workers can stay home with their families on Thanksgiving. Even many Black Friday traditionalists say they’re staying away because the openings are cutting too much into their own Thanksgivings, according to The New York Times.

The early openings and huge discounts may not be enough to get those consumers concerned about the economy into stores. More than 60 percent of Americans say they expect the economy to influence their holiday shopping this year, a survey from the NRF found. Consumers barely boosted spending in October, according to the Commerce Department, indicating holiday shopping may be slow.

Regardless the atmosphere at malls and big box stores across the country is sure to be hectic on Black Friday, so check out our liveblog to get a round up of the latest Black Friday deals, news and stampedes.

Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post