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Shoppers looking for Black Friday deals south of the border got an early start this year, although some may have seen more action than they would have liked.
More than a dozen U.S. retailers broke from tradition this year and opened on Thanksgiving.
Shoppers behaving badly
In New York, an estimated 15,000 cheering shoppers gave up their Thanksgiving dinners to flow through the doors of Macy’s Herald Square Thursday night.
In Romeoville, just outside of Chicago, an alleged shoplifting incident resulted in a man being shot by police after dragging an officer with his car.
“The officer was struggling with the subject as he got into the car and then the car started to move as the officer was partially inside the car, Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey told the Associated Press. “The officer was dragged quite some distance. He couldn’t get out.”
A second officer then shot the suspect in the shoulder. The officer and the suspect were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
In Las Vegas, a man returning from a Black Friday sale was shot at and robbed of his new TV.
U.S. shoppers have also posted scores of photos and videos of shoppers behaving badly, including fights in stores, unruly crowds that refuse to line up at the registers, and police arresting people in the aisles.
Canadian retailers respond
North of the border, lineups formed outside Toronto’s Eaton Centre and Yorkdale mall overnight. Both malls opened early Friday morning in an effort to compete with U.S. retailers.
Canadian retailers are offering huge discounts in an effort to compete with U.S. stores as the popularity of Black Friday spreads. A recent poll released by the Bank of Montreal found that Canadian shoppers are increasingly eager to shop on Black Friday.
Forty-seven per cent of Canadians polled said they planned on shopping this year, up from 41 per cent last year. Each shopper said they expected to spend an average of $292.