The Great Debate

The scientific explanation of why people kill each other over TVs on Black Friday

By Laurence Ashworth
November 23, 2014

Shoppers rush for televisions at a Target store in Chicago

What causes people to kick, shove and even stab each other on Black Friday?

Each year there are reports of violence during the Black Friday sales. Last year, in Philadelphia – the City of Brotherly Love, no less – two families fought until one of the women ended matters with a stun gun. In a New Jersey Walmart, a belligerent shopper had to be pepper sprayed by police. And in Virginia, one man slashed another with a knife in an argument over a parking spot. This year, there are sure to be similar cases.

Think holiday shopping’s ‘soulless?’ This Japanese trend can fix that

November 21, 2014

A woman walks past an image of lips at a department store in Tokyo

The times when Black Friday and Cyber Monday were one-day events are long gone. Data from search engine giant Google show that close to 90 percent of shoppers have turned these days into “mini-shopping-holidays,” rather than one-day events. But the Japanese, known for turning shopping into a fine art, may be pointing the way to yet another new trend in shopping.

The real cost of those Black Friday deals

By Caitlin Kelly
November 24, 2011

By Caitlin Kelly
The opinions expressed are her own.

Americans shop. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We’re still an economy powered by consumer spending – 70 percent of it, in fact. It’s an article of faith, for some, that annual Thanksgiving celebrations not only include turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, but lining up in the cold and dark at their favorite store to snag a Black Friday bargain.