Just several hours into Black Friday and reports of fights between misbehaving shoppers are already beginning to be filed.
In Birmingham (Ala.), the Riverchase Galleria was forced to be closed just hours into the day as one Black Friday Gladiator was inured by another in the scramble for deals. Paramedics were called to the scene and was forced to treat the shopper for injuries, as videos of the incident showed officers restraining others -- who are now thought to be the flashpoint fo the fighting and choas.
Additionally, a man in Columbia (Mo.) is being treated for a gunshot wound after being shot in the parking lot of a local mall.
According to a report from KMIZ, a 19-year-old sustained life-threatening injuries after being shot in the neck around 1:30 am on Friday.
Officers did not report if it was an accidental or intentional shooting but the investigation is ongoing.
Witnesses at the scene told the news station that the injured person was taken away by ambulance, adding that the incident appeared to have been confined to the car that the two men occupied.
Both malls are expected to re-open for business.
Experts estimate that over 115 million people will venture out to shop on Black Friday, with an estimated expense of nearly $1000 per shopper. Last year the estimate was for the average shopper to spend $935.58 with this year being a near-4 percent increase to $967.13.
The National Retail Federation survey of Thanksgiving weekend spending activity shows that this year, 70 percent of Americans plan to do some form of shopping — whether it's lining up outside of Best Buy at 5 AM on Black Friday, or logging into Amazon at the crack of dawn on Cyber Monday.
The NRF has also found that Cyber Monday shoppers are becoming about as savvy and predictable as their in-store counterparts (here are our tips on What to Buy on Black Friday or Wait for on Cyber Monday).
Cyber Monday shoppers have got their holiday gift acquisition down to a science. There are methods out there of cross-referencing prices and hunting down coupons and deals that are simply much easier than running from store to store.