Shoppers stunned as sale turns ugly

W45812H12 Asda, Ferring
W45812H12 Asda, Ferring

Stunned shoppers watched in horror as a supermarket sale turned into a brawl on Friday.

Tempers flared and punches were thrown at the Black Friday sale at Asda in Ferring, where cut-price TVs were among the items up for grabs.

Zoe Ryan, 33, of Clifton Road, Worthing, was shopping with her elderly grandmother when the frenzy began.

“There was a countdown and as the staff started to pull the wrappers off everything, people just lunged forwards.

“The man in front of me got punched and had a black eye. There were people climbing over each other and my nan, who is 78, got knocked over. She was so shaken up she spent the afternoon in bed.

“It was just a free-for-all.”

Shaun Evans, 22, of Montague Street, Worthing, was at Asda with his partner Kirstyn and her dad when the sale started. He described what he saw as disgusting.

“Kirsten’s dad got hold of a TV and a young kid jumped up on top of all the stock and whacked him in the face,” said Shaun.

“Then this other guy tried rugby tackling him. Everybody was scrapping. There was a lady lying on the floor cuddling a TV and people were climbing all over her. It was like a Royal Rumble in wrestling.”

According to Shaun, staff did nothing to control the 250-strong crowds, and that one was videoing the chaos on his Ipad.

“There were women crying and trying to get their children out of the way.”

Shaun said the event should never have been allowed to get out of hand like it did, and questioned why a queuing system had not been used as it had been in some other stores.

He added that Asda had apologised for the way the situation was handled.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said they had received a report from a man who was assaulted at Asda on Friday, but have so far been unable to contact him to take it further.

Asda refused to comment on events at its Ferring branch, but did issue a generic statement.

A spokesman for the firm said: “This is the first time Black Friday has been done on this scale in stores across the UK and our customers were eager to take advantage of the great offers available to them.

“We planned for high demand and the half a million Black Friday products on offer to our customers have been selling quickly since 8am.

“Throughout the event the safety of our customers is of vital importance and to ensure our stores can cope with the extra footfall we have full security teams in our stores and extra colleagues to help assist customers in the aisles.”