The retailer is more than satisfied by the attendance of its stores by shoppers on Black Friday which marks the start of the holiday shopping season.
“I’m so proud of what our more than 1.3 million associates have done to prepare and execute our Black Friday plans, giving our customers a great start to their Christmas shopping season,” said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer.
“The work of our associates is even more impressive when you consider they served approximately 22 million customers on Thursday.”
Walmart’s Black Friday plan included three events this year at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 5 a.m, reports The Sacramento Bee.
As the Walmart said, it processed nearly 10 million register transactions and almost 5,000 items per second during from 8 p.m. through midnight.
During Black Friday event, customers occupied shopping carts with gaming consoles, video games, DVDs, Furbys, fashion dolls, board games and Crock-Pots.
At 10 p.m. was claimed to be time of electronics, including big-screen TVs, tablets, laptops and digital cameras.
Most of all customers appreciated Walmart’s “guaranteed” items, and the turnout for the iPad 2, Emerson 32″ LCD TV and LG Blu-ray player was amazing.
However, Black Friday was overshadowed by Walmart employees threatening to bring holiday shopping to its knees by striking to show their demand for a better working conditions.
Hundreds of protesters, including some Walmart employees, chanted and sang outside of the retailer’s stores around the United States, urging to raise wages and better healthcare for hourly workers.
“Walmart cuts hours and benefits to push people out,” said one of protesters. “It’s the same thing at Walgreens. The workers are suffering while billionaires make all the money.”
An organization backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, OUR Walmart, reported it counted 1,000 protests in 46 U.S. states, including strikes in 100 cities – figures that Walmart said were “grossly exaggerated.”
“The strikers need to pick a day when people aren’t counting on the sales,” said Liz Brookings, who went shopping on Thursday evening.
“A lot of people need this day. They save up for Black Friday all year, and this is all there is,” the woman added.
Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said nine people were arrested. Elizabeth Brennan of Warehouse Workers United said three Wal-Mart employees were among the arrested.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dale Ryken said the police expected that some people seeking to practice civil disobedience would be arrested after refusing an order to disperse.
“The whole thing was going to be a peaceful demonstration,” Ryken said. “It was understood that they would send 10 to 15 people [at once] to get arrested.”
Bill Simon, Wal-Mart U.S. CEO, dismissed the impact of the protests, reports The Huffington Post.
“Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Wal-Mart associates,” he said.
“We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year.”
David Tovar, Walmart’s vice president of communications, later released a statement, claiming that the “number of protests being reported by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union are grossly exaggerated.