Town Passes Anti Black Friday Rampage Ordinance

Finally, one town has taken a stand against the madness and said, “no more.”

Sick of marauding shoppers trampling through stores on Black Friday, ripping at each other’s throats to get the precious few deep-discounted doorbusters dangled in front of their shnozzles to suck them in, Dartmouth, MA has passed a new law. Stores that open early have to get a waiver and submit a safety plan to the town.

If they don’t, the store will get fined $100/min for the first 30 minutes they are in violation of the law, $200/min for the next 30, and $300/min after the first hour.

Police officers will be assigned to the stores to ensure that people don’t kill each other.

The law requires approval from the state AG and wouldn’t go into effect until 2011, but the town is asking retailers to voluntarily comply with it starting this holiday shopping season.

Dartmouth OKs Black Friday crackdown [South Coast Today] (Thanks to Adam!)

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Now can we get a law banning Holiday Creep?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I make my own Christmas Creep. I just bought a Christmas ornament, and from a year-round Christmas store, too.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I believe the saying goes “There’s no accounting for taste.”

      The only reasonable thing that can be done is if people are proactive and voice their concerns to the business owners.

      If it wasn’t selling more of their shit, they wouldn’t be starting earlier and earlier each year, would they?

    • A.Mercer says:

      That would be nice but it would get kicked out for being a First Amendment violation.

    • Rose says:

      I dunno. I was kind of disappointed that I couldn’t compare trees at all of the stores that sell trees yet. I was excited about getting a new tree…

  2. areaman says:

    I would be surprised if this get passed into law.

    Not sure how accurate it is but I Googled Dartmouth, MA Walmart and there’s a Walmart in Dartmouth. I’m guessing Walmart and People of Walmart will put a stop to this sanity.

    • Preyfar says:

      I don’t imagine the People of Walmart will be able to put forth a reasonable defense. I’ve… seen their website.


      • areaman says:

        The People of Walmart will not be reasonable. They will just storm town hall with pitch forks and torches.

        • Emperor Norton I says:

          While ti women are wearing bikinis & the men are wearing dresses.
          I was just talking about this last night with someone else who had laughed herself sick at that site.
          Neither of us had ever seen anything like that at any Wally World we’ve been in.
          And we want to!

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            I know; every time I go to Walmart I’m on the lookout for Walcreatures, and I NEVER EVER see one!

            It has made me way more conscious of what I wear into the store!

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Is Wal Mart actually located inside of the city’s corporate limits?

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        Good one. I kind of doubt it. WM’s M.O. is to set up shop just outside the city/village/whatever. All the better to thumb their noses at the mayor if he gets froggy.

        • nextyearsgirl says:

          There aren’t really unincoporated areas in MA. Hence why I was so intensely confused by the article about the firemen letting that guy’s house burn down at first.

        • ktetch says:

          pretty much every walmart I can think of here in Georgia is inside a city limit. The only one that I know of that isn’t is the Athens one, (which is like 500 yards into Oconee County, since Athens is one of the few city-county municipalities (Athens-Clarke County)

      • Etoiles says:

        As far as I know there is no unincorporated land in Massachusetts, so… yes, most likely.

        (The first time I saw space *between towns*, driving through Florida with my parents, I was unbelievably confused. It still boggles my mind that there are places that technically aren’t in a town or city. The town ends where the next one begins, in MA.)

    • DanRydell says:

      Yeah, because it’s in Walmart’s best interest to resist reasonable safety measures after someone was trampled to death at one of their stores. That’ll really help them out when they’re sued by the next guy who gets trampled to death. Think, people!

  3. LaminatedTruck says:

    Interesting that it only applies to stores that open early. Wal-mart doesn’t open early on black Friday, and also happens to be where most of the problems occur.

    Good idea, but I doubt it will affect anything.

  4. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Well, don’t expect any cool videos to come from Dartmouth, MA, then!

  5. nbs2 says:

    So, in response, a retailer opens for an hour on Thursday, requiring employees to accommodate all shoppers that have entered before going home for the night. Now, that would be an exclusive doorbuster. And it would avoid the fines.

  6. midniteslayr says:

    Funny thing about Black Friday … I have never seen any issues with crazy people trying to get the best deals. Most of the time, it has always been tired, passive people who won’t go nuts. There have been a couple of times where people broke the rules, but they were dealt with by the staff with swiftness and there was never a scene with the people. I don’t know where there are so many people who do this, but it never seems to surround me.

  7. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    You’d think the town where the Wal-mart Temp was trampled to death would enact something like this.

  8. Nogard13 says:

    Why not pass a law that states that if you advertise a price, it must be honored, including rain checks. That way there is no trampling because anyone can walk in, at any time, and get a rain check.

    • midniteslayr says:

      ^^^ This is a better option. And, it would be both fair to the consumer and the company who doesn’t want to get fined. The company that gets the fines will only pass it on to the consumer who is only wanting to have the product advertised. This also lessens the issue of the company passing on the cost of the fines to the consumer.

    • phonic says:

      Then none of the stores would have doorbusters…

    • ARP says:

      I think its a great idea, but people don’t want to wait for the uncertainity of the item not being in stock (or not getting it in stock until its too late).

    • Outrun1986 says:

      This is a good option, but this would also mean mediocre deals for customers and no frenzy created (not that I haven’t seen any deals in the past 3 years that were actually worth waiting for). Retailers do the doorbusters because they want publicity and they want to create a frenzy. Also people usually buy the regular priced merchandise too on BF, basically they buy anything that is in the store just because they usually are there with their wallets open. So they put a few items on sale at a so called deep discount and hope that the ones that don’t get the items will either pick something else out, something that will make more profit for the retailer, or hope that those people scour the store for other items to buy. Its all about getting customers into your store, because if you are there, they assume you will buy stuff.

      This wouldn’t happen though, because retailers can only afford to sell x amount of the item for the price and they are probably already losing money on the doorbusters sold. They wouldn’t want to do rainchecks because then they would be issuing unlimited vouchers and losing tons of money, so in turn the sales would be more like every day sales or they would just put some items in bold for the regular price and it wouldn’t create the frenzy or publicity that the store wants.

      Some items are also produced specifically for these doorbuster sales, such as laptops and TV’s, so in theory you are getting what you pay for. If they gave out rain checks, there would likely not be enough supply of the item to fulfill all the rain checks, which would mean the retailer is promising something they cannot deliver, which is also bad.

    • jefeloco says:

      If this law (as outlined by you) was passed, there would not be anymore door busters or huge mega-sales. Can you really imagine the government telling retailers that they had to sell an unlimited amount of X items for four hours, no matter what the inventory levels were or how much the retailers were losing on every item?

  9. sonneillon says:

    Sooo. What about stores that are open 24/7, like some walmarts?

    Although if a police officer and a safety plan and the city isn’t a bunch of complete bastards I could get behind this.

    • Anonymously says:

      At 24/7 Walmart the rope off the doorbusters and you have stand around them like a pack of wild animals. Someone breaches the rope, the rope falls and you rush forward grabbing anything you can. It all disappears in like 5 seconds.

      For the REALLY popular stuff, a line forms like days ahead of time and people live at walmart until the sale starts.

      • Anonymously says:

        Sorry, I thought you meant “What do they do now” not “how does this ordinance apply to them”

    • RandomHookup says:
      • Tim says:

        Wow, I didn’t know a state could do that. Blue law fail.

        • RandomHookup says:

          It’s one of the few days a year that a retail employee can pretty much be guaranteed of a day off. It was fun a few years ago when the Asian supermarket chain kept getting nailed for this because “we don’t celebrate Christmas!”

          It’s only a problem when companies want to do a Thanksgiving night early start to Black Friday.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        This is a good law, because it starts with one store opening up and then the others have to open up as well to avoid losing business on that day. Over here many stores are open on thanksgiving, and many of the sales start late at night on thanksgiving. This is bad for the employees. 5-10 years ago all the stores were closed on Thanksgiving, then Kmart started opening on that day and since the other stores didn’t want to lose to Kmart almost all the stores here are open on Thanksgiving.

        There aren’t too many stores open on Christmas here, but there are a few.

  10. common_sense84 says:

    24 hour walmart rejoices.

  11. CookiePuss says:

    Cool. Now shoppers will trample and stomp each other at 8AM as opposed to 4AM. At least they won’t be half asleep when they’re being trampled to death.

    • Griking says:

      I’m curious what constitutes opening early. Is there a law saying specifically what time businesses can’t open before? Do fast food restaurants and gas stations need to pay to be able to open prior to this set time?

      • CookiePuss says:

        From the article:

        “…retailers who want to open between midnight and 4 a.m. on Black Friday.”

        “Food stores and gas stations are exempt from it.”

        I don’t know if they have any 24 hour retailers like Walmart, but the chief said “”We’re not looking to interfere with business” Although that’s exactly what they would be doing to a retailer that’s normally open 24 hours. Seems like a nonsensical bylaw although the intentions are nice.

  12. Serenefengshui says:

    I love it!

  13. jjfoley says:

    I’m from North Dartmouth, and this is such a great idea. It was getting so difficult to get around on this traffic. There is a section of Dartmouth, that has the mall & all the strip malls (Walmart, Bestbuy, etc), and it is impossible to drive around that part of town.

    After Thanksgiving meal, and it takes forever to get home, and then going to work the next morning, it was virtually grindlock

  14. CBenji says:

    First of all $100/minimum is so little that Walmart won’t care, and how many people hate Good Friday raise your hand? Well at least hate when you find someone in an aisle you are trying to get through around the holiday season and they seem to be studying the ingredients on flour or bottled water, or any other ridiculous thing that shouldn’t be gumming up the works? Grr, I can hardly wait.

    • areaman says:

      Good Friday?

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Ok, it’s $100 PER MINUTE, not Minimum and on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter.

      • CBenji says:

        Yes, but Walmart is notorious for not paying fines and just keeping the court action going. It won’t matter how much the fine is. I think the last time I read something about Walmart having to pay a fine they don’t pay them. They just continually go to court appeal after appeal. They are a big company after all and they exhaust all their legal options.

    • mrhappydude says:

      that’s $100 per minute, and after 30 minutes it’s up’d to $200 per minute and after that it’s $300 per minute, which is $3000 (30 x100) for 30 min and $6000 for the next 30 making it $9000 for an hour of insanity, pretty expensive considering the margins on most of the sale items

    • TerpBE says:

      I have a cousin who was trampled to death trying after a mob was trying to get a great deal on peeps.

  15. meternx01 says:

    I wonder if this will apply anytime or just for the Friday after Thanksgiving. I know Gamestop does Midnight releases throughout the year. Would they have to pay for a permit as well?

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I am guessing there could be potential for trampling at one of these events. The only scenario where I could think of where there would be an actual threat of trampling is when a new console would launch, there often aren’t enough to go around and this could definitely lead to trampling.

      But I would say no for your average video game release, since there are usually enough to go around and I don’t think the gamers would start trampling each other, its more of a comraderie thing at a video game launch if you actually choose to camp out for one. With BF though you have a bunch of people that just have to have item X at the price in the ad and this easily leads to mob mentality.

  16. deathbecomesme says:

    Wow I read this as “Town Passes Anti-Black, Friday Rampage Ordinance”.

    • Groanan says:

      Do you work for the ACLU?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Well, Friday was a terrible movie.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Me too. Black people can’t go on rampages on Fridays without being fined. WTF? Start reading, ohhhhh another misleading headline, should’ve expected that. And no, I don’t work for the ACLU or NAACP… ahem Are they hiring???

    • physics2010 says:

      I only got to Anti-Black Friday before the WTF took over.

  17. menty666 says:

    And who’s going to pay for the officers dragged out of bed early, paid overtime, and stationed at these stores? The town of Dartmouth? Of course not!

    Consider that if other laws about not trampling on people get flaunted, this is nothing more than just a revenue generator for a greedy town pretending to do something nice.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      But the lawmakers mean well! Screw the consequences!

    • SixOfOne says:

      Pay them $100/minute for the first 30 minutes, then $200/minute the following 30 minutes, and cap it at $300/minute after the first hour. It’s win-win!

  18. jefeloco says:

    I love this idea. The local mall complained last year when seven doors were torn off their hinges and people ripped the security cages from the rails to get to stores that “had the deals”. I have traditionally taken the morning off every Black Friday, but only to avoid getting run off the road by bargain hunters.

  19. Mecharine says:

    I’ve seen news reports of people waiting days before Black Friday. DAYS( Okay 1 day, but that includes night and daylight hours).

    This kind of consumerism is self-destructive.

  20. Straspey says:

    The whole concept of “Black Friday” has to be one the – if not THE – single most ingenious marketing strategy in the history of western civilization.

    Think about it…

    Being able to whip up your customers to such a frenzy that they will stay up all night to be there when your store opens at 5:00am on the day after Thanksgiving – all for the opportunity to able to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of their money for the stuff you’re selling.

    WOW !

    Last year, we actually had a guy trampled to death around here by crazed shoppers frothing at the mouth to grab that flat-screened TV. And they did – even as as paramedics were trying to save the poor guys life a few feet away.

    Now that Dartmouth is going to station cops at these places, I can’t wait to read the stories about the insane shopper who ends up getting tazed, pepper-sprayed, or worse by a cop who becomes threatened or fears for his life and the safety of other shoppers.

  21. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    I hate crowds and never shop in those conditions. Ever notice how prices go lower just a week or two later?

    • CookiePuss says:

      Not only that but you can get just as good or even better deals online between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. No sales tax, no crowds, no 17 mile long lines, being able to use cashback sites and/or coupon codes, plus delivery to your door. Online is the way to go!

      I think some people just truly enjoy the experience of the mad dash. Reminds me of that old game show “Shop Till You Drop”. Heh.

  22. dangermike says:

    It’s blatantly racist to deny blacks their friday rampage! Where’s the ACLU?

  23. gman863 says:

    Quit being PC and just admit the fact Black Friday (along with the annual horde of fat chicks clawing each other over marked down bridal dresses at Feline’s Basement) has turned into America’s favorite blood sport participation event.

    It’s a lot like the Running of the Bulls in Spain, except no animals are harmed.

  24. jcargill says:

    What? Restraining capitalism? How very Stalinist of you comrades in Dartmouth!
    Now how am I going to get that Bluray player for 12.95???!!!

  25. Blious says:

    People that go crazy deserves all the legal issues that come there

    Be nice and content or GO HOME