Black Friday: what ever retailer needs to know

Black Friday: what ever retailer needs to know

Black Friday.

I must confess that, until last Friday, I hadn't heard of it.

At least I think I hadn't. The concept may well have crossed my path in the past but it was only a temporary guest, spending no more than a minute or two in my increasingly full short-term memory. It was probably filed under 'stuff that happens in America' and duly forgotten about.

So what is it?

In the US, it is the day after Thanksgiving when many retailers start their Christmas shopping campaigns in earnest. At times, the day has been known to involve fist-fights, vicious assaults and two-for-one offers on Egyptian cotton bed sheets: an intoxicating combination, if you like your shopping with a soupçon of violence.

Well I don't.

And I suspect that many retailers don't like the idea either.

That said, like many American invasions, it has started to appear in the UK.

So this got me thinking: what happens from a legal point of view when a retailer whips up a frenzy of excitement in its customers—whether on purpose or inadvertently—and things go wrong? When hoards of impatient bargain-hunters swarm through the store, many frothing at the mouth, in a desperate bid to find goods at a massive discount?

Can any blame be attached to the retailer?

As always, the answer is: 'it depends'.

It is interesting to have a wee look at what was said by the judge in the recent case Everett and another v Comojo (UK) Ltd (t/a The Metropolitan and others)* In this case a customer was unfortunate enough to be injured in a knife attack

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