Why Wal-Mart Isn’t Concerned by Black Friday Brawls

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By Thanksgiving night, videos of brawls inside Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) stores had gone viral. An early start to the chaotic holiday shopping season proved mainly positive for the world’s biggest retailer, though protests over Walmart employees’ rights greeted many of the deal-seekers. Wal-Mart’s early Black Friday sales strategy appears to be working just fine, as the company’s PR team worked ’round the clock along with store employees.

Protests by the OUR Walmart group took place on a large scale. Salon.com reports some 1,500 demonstrations were planned by organizers, but they did little to stop the rush of Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day shoppers. It turns out holiday deal-hunters are more concerned about scoring great prices on flat-screen televisions than they are about the wages and work conditions of the employees who work in the stores.

Most headlines about Wal-Mart’s Thursday and Friday business centered on the fights among customers who were hungry to land those deals as early as Thanksgiving evening. Bloomberg reports Wal-Mart’s tactic of using quota systems cut down on the number of scuffles over products inside the stores compared to last year. However, reports of stabbings and other fights at Walmart stores were getting a lot of press.

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