Frenzied bargain-hunters came to blows as ‘crazy’ scenes of shopping chaos flared in Sheffield during Black Friday sales.
Shoppers were seen fighting over games consoles and a member of staff at one supermarket was punched in the face during customers’ desperate attempts to bag drastically discounted products.
Claude Notice witnessed the scenes of violence at the Tesco Extra store on Saville Street, Spital Hill, as people ransacked the aisles in just seconds.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said the 33-year-old from the Manor, who was among the hordes waiting to buy a Playstation Four console.
“There were around 200 people queuing to get in just before midnight and when staff gave the go ahead it went crazy.
“People rushed towards stands of TVs and coffee machines and emptied them in 30 seconds.
“When a staff member brought a cage of Xboxes and PlayStations out he tried to put them out but people were just grabbing the boxes and someone punched him in the face.
“A lady managed to get a games console at the same time as a bloke which resulted in a fight - the box was becoming ripped.
“People didn’t know the cost of things as staff didn’t get chance to put things out properly, but shoppers were still diving into the cages.
“We hadn’t expected it to be that busy.”
Similar incidents were reported across the country as Black Friday - traditionally a major sales day in the US - took hold for the first time in the UK.
Sheffield city centre was packed with shoppers taking advantage of offers and Meadowhall bosses said yesterday was their biggest trading day of the year.
A member of staff at the Tesco Extra store told The Star there were also fights over cut-price TVs.
Ash Barkworth, who visited after the carnage unfolded, said: “The store looked like a bomb site, and every till had 20 to 30 people queuing. It was absolutely unreal.
“There was loads of packaging everywhere, and 90 per cent of people had a massive TV in a trolly. Every till was rammed.”
A spokesman for Tesco did not comment on the allegations of violence but confirmed police officers were called to the store.
He added: “In the interest of customer safety colleagues at our Sheffield Extra store called police last night to help control crowds safely.
“We are grateful to the police for their support and the store is now trading normally.”