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Black Friday escalates into violence

POSTED: Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 4:14pm

UPDATED: Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 10:37pm

Prices were low and stakes were high this Black Friday, with retailers banking on a strong day of shopping.

Mob scenes played out across the country.

Some came not to shop, but to steal.

Robbers outside a South Carolina Walmart shot a 55-year-old year woman, demanding her purse.

In northern California, gunmen tried to rob shoppers in a Walmart parking lot, critically injuring one, and near Los Angeles, a woman fighting to buy video games used pepper spray, injuring 20 people.

Police called it "competitive shopping".

Yet the large crowds were exactly what retailers hoped for, many lured by deep discounts.

Door busters helped get people out not only to shop, but to buy.

Low prices weren't the only way stores tempted buyers.

Many opened earlier than ever.

They also pushed special sales online, and sent mobile only deals to smartphones.

It may have worked.

Analysts say Americans spent $27 billion dollars, making this the biggest, brightest Black Friday ever.

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