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New Jersey mall shooting leaves one dead as shoppers flock to stores

Unclear whether violence links between Black Friday sales after man, 20, dies at the scene near Macys in Mays Landing, with friend in stable condition

Black Friday, as shoppers across the US went on all-night huntings for shopping deals.

It was not clear if the shooting was linked to the sales in any way but shoppers were alarmed at the violence which took place outside a Macys department store at the Hamilton Mall in the Mays Landing area at about 1am, according to CBS Philly. Dozens of shell casings were said to be scattered around a bullet-riddled silver SUV in the parking lot of the mall.

A 20 -year-old man died at the scene and his 26 -year-old brother was treated in a medical centre and was in stable condition with a gunshot meander to his leg, CBS said. Authorities have not given any details about who fired the shots and if there is a suspect at large.

The prosecutor on the case was not immediately available for commentary.

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Its sad, one shopper said at the scene. Weve been doing this, me and my girls, for likely about 10 years now, just for the fun of going out a girls night and trying to get some special sales and its get scary now.

The shooting was the only reported apparently shopping-related Black Friday violence as shoppers flocked to the malls and department store in search of discount deals.

Stores such as Macys, Walmart and Target were open Thursday evening in what they hope will be a new holiday tradition as they try to fight off competitor from online retailers like Amazon.

This year, shoppers are expected to expend $27 bn on the Friday after Thanksgiving, according to the consulting firm Customer Growth Partners. That stimulates Black Friday now the second-biggest US shopping day of the year behind Super Saturday, which falls the weekend before Christmas.

Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer at Walmarts US division, said in addition to Black Friday favorites such as televisions, consumers were looking for drones, virtual reality products and hoverboards.

Target and Walmart announced their holiday performance numbers earlier than ever. Tvs were a top dealer, with 3,200 Tvs sold every minute during the course of its first few hours of the stores opening. The merchandiser also sold half a million video games, and reported that it sold five times more wireless headphones than last year and robotic vacuums produced 10 periods last few years sales.

Target CEO Brian Cornell said the stores were seeing a very positive response, the Associated Press reported. Saw very long lines. Its very positive from a digital standpoint. Its one of strongest days ever with an overall lift in sales and traffic gains.

I look at the consumer and the state of the economy, Cornell said. Its a great time to be a consumer in US. The GDP is expanding, although Id like to see it at 6 %; gas prices are low, food prices low and interest rates are low. Its a great time to be a retailer.

Walmart said it had sold 150 m pounds of turkey and ham and more than six pies per second throughout November, and that Thanksgiving Day was once again one of the top online shopping days of the year.

But retail analysts reported that Black Friday was off to a slow start. For brick-and-mortar retailers, the challenge is to draw customers into the stores instead of going online. Last year, more people shopped online during the course of its Thanksgiving weekend than ventured out.

I have never seen Black Friday morning so calm, said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group. He told the AP he still believed the weekends sales would probably be up over last year because shoppers did lots of buying, including pricey flat-screen TVs.

All-night shoppers were still drifting through the aisles of Macys in New York at dawn. Store associates said the crush to get in last year was more intense, when 100,000 consumers mobbed to get in.

Veronica Harriet, a seasoned Black Friday shopper, said the deals being offered online were better than those in the stores.

Black Friday is not what it used to be. Its still a tradition but if you stay at home and shop online you dont have to go through all the pushing and shoving.

Linden Kellett, a visitor from the UK, said the sales system, especially at stores like Apple, was too complex because it involved a voucher system. Elsewhere, he said, the discounts werent as deep as he expected.

Its not as exciting as I expected, and I dont suppose the savings are as good.

Another visitor from the UK, Susie Collins, 39, had flown from Europe with girlfriends to cruise the stores. She had picked up two pink trolls and some underwear for her boyfriend at 50% off. But she said she hadnt find the doorbuster deals she was hoping for. We were expecting more, Collins said.

Outside Victorias Secret another store that had been open all night shopper Miriam Drosane shook her head. Its no good, she said. Everything is the same as it was last week.

But others said it was at least a respite from politics. At least its something positive and not the election, said Michael Josephson at Macys.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ us-news/ 2016/ nov/ 25/ black-friday-shooting-new-jersey

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