Shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving, a custom that is tradition to some and puzzling to others, got a new twist this year with several stores opening as early as 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Analysts said that retailers were aiming for customers who might have limited budgets and trying to appeal to people who would rather stay awake late than awaken for a 4 a.m. opening.
Many first-timers did not seem to think it was worth braving the crowds.
While most malls and stores were packed but relatively calm, in California, a woman pepper-sprayed fellow Wal-Mart shoppers, apparently to keep them from grabbing an Xbox she wanted. Two other Wal-Mart shoppers, in San Leandro, Calif., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., were shot in the stores’ parking lots, while police arrested shoppers who were fighting over products in Wal-Mart stores in Milford, Conn., Rome, N.Y. and Kissimmee, Fla.