Black Friday had a grim start for Tesco chains across Greater Manchester as police were called to seven Tesco stores following disturbances at their ‘Black Friday’ sales events. The chain had been advertising the Black Friday sales and its ‘amazing deals in store and online’ with the tag line ‘limited stock—when it’s gone it’s gone’.
However at 12:40am on Thursday, officers were called to Tesco Extra on Barton Road, Middleton, following reports that around 200 disgruntled shoppers would not leave, despite being told stock had all gone. Doors had been locked but they refused to leave. No arrests were made.
Further, at 11:37pm on Thursday 27th November 2014, officers were called to Tesco Central Park, Wigan after reports of several hundred people trying to enter the store. Two men were ejected before control was regained.
Officers were also called to Tesco on Ashton Road West at 11:40pm yesterday, after more than 500 people attended the store.
The Tesco store at Ellesmere Shopping Centre in Walkden was closed down after a crowd of more than 500 people attended. Shoppers were asked to leave.
The Tesco Extra in Stretford was closed after fights broke out between shoppers trying to get their hands on sale stock. A woman suffered minor injuries after being hit by a falling television and an ambulance was called. The store was closed at 12:36am, just over half an hour after the sales event started.
Shortly after 1:05am on Friday 28th November 2014, police were called to Tesco on Woodrow Way, Salford. One man was arrested on suspicion of assault after his conduct in store was challenged by staff. He threatened to “smash” a staff member’s face in.
Shortly after 12:05am on Friday, police were finally called to Tesco Extra on Stockport Road, Hattersley, following reports of fighting in store. Approximately 300 people were present in store and staff were advised to close. One man was arrested for a public order offence.
Speaking on the early morning incidents Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, said: “The events of last night were totally predictable and I am disappointed that stores did not have sufficient security staff on duty.
“This created situations where we had to deal with crushing, disorder and disputes between customers.
“It does not help that this was in the early hours when police resources are already stretched.
“Across Greater Manchester large supermarkets already make significant demands on policing through calls to shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and thefts of fuel from their petrol stations—much of which is preventable.
“We just ask these stores to work with us to reduce the demands on policing and reduce the risks of disorder and crime.”