Shoppers surged into an Urban Outfitters store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica after midnight Friday and smashed a tall glass door, injuring about five people, authorities said.
Paramedics treated a few shoppers for minor cuts but no one was transported to the hospital by ambulance, said Sgt. Marty Fine of the Santa Monica Police Department.
"It was just too many people, too fast," Fine said.
Around midnight, at least 100 people had lined up for Urban Outfitters' Black Friday deals, which offered up to 50% off on some items. When the 12-foot all-glass double doors opened, the crowd pushed toward the doors and broke the left one.
Police officers were assigned to the general area but the store did not have its own security, Fine said.
An Urban Outfitters store manager declined to comment.
The store, which, ironically, features a stylized broken glass look to either side of the doors, was closed for a few minutes as injuries were treated and glass shards were swept away.
At 9 a.m. Friday, the store was reopened and bustling with activity.
Early Black Friday openings are paying off, retailers say / 9:05 a.m.
Retailers said early openings on Thanksgiving night seemed to pay off.
Hours after the first Black Friday deals rolled out, several chains were in cheery moods after seeing bigger crowds on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
At Sears, which opened for the first time at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, lines were longer than in previous years, said company spokesman Tom Aiello.
"We had lines ranging from 300 to 1,000 people," he said. "Everyone was curious about how the 8 p.m. Thanksgiving evening was going to go. For the most part, once you got into the store it was manageable and the crowds aren't too bad."
Shoppers queued up outside Toys R Us stores, which also opened at 8 p.m., said they were happy to shop after turkey and pie instead of getting up out of warm beds in the middle of the night for good bargains, said Troy Rice, senior vice president of stores and services.
Rice said more families were out and about with kids in tow, hunting for Lego play sets, Barbie dolls and kid-oriented tablet computers.
"It was really a family event that we saw going on last night," he said. "The mood in lines were very positive and celebratory."
Dustin Hamilton, a district manager at Target, said shoppers "voted with their wallets" by storming stores around the Southland at its 9 p.m. opening, which was three hours ealier than last year.
"I spoke with several customers who said it was their first time our for Black Friday, and the reason they were out was because of the earlier openings," he said.
-- Shan Li
Wal-Mart touts 'best ever' Black Friday / 8:33 a.m.
After opening earlier than in previous Thanksgiving weekends, Wal-Mart reported its “best ever Black Friday” sales, including bigger crowds than last year, the company said Friday.
The retailer rolled out deals starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. From 8 p.m. to midnight, Wal-Mart processed nearly 10 million register transactions, handling 5,000 items a second, the company said. Mmore than 22 million shopped in Wal-Mart's stores during the four-hour period.
Last year, the chain opened at 10 p.m.
More than 1.3 million employees are staffing the holiday weekend, Wal-Mart U.S. chief executive Bill Simon said in a statement.
The company split its sales into three time periods, each with a different type of merchandise available. At 8 p.m., toys, games and home apparel went on sale. At 10 p.m., electronics. At 5 a.m., jewelry, tools and other items.
Since 8 p.m. Thursday, Wal-Mart had sold 1.8 million towels, 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bicycles, the company said in a statement released at about 6:30 a.m. PST.
“We had very safe and successful Black Friday events at our stores across the country and heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers,” Simon said.
-- Laura J. Nelson
Black Friday shoppers 'crazy,' 'civil,' wary, tired / 7:38 a.m.
At the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, the Black Friday deals were crazy, but the crowds were not.
At 4 a.m., well-dressed younger customers browsed the stores that opened earliest as Christmas music rife with harpsichords and trumpets played in the background. Other hopeful customers slept in lines, waiting for stores to open their doors.
On its website, the 2.8-million-square foot mall referred to Black Friday as a Day After Thanksgiving sale.
"This is much more civil," said Shelly Wilcox, a single mother from Costa Mesa.
Civility aside, the appetite for bargains was not in any way diminished at stores that opened as early as Thursday evening.
At Sears, hundreds of $97 32-inch televisions disappeared minutes after the store opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. At clothing store H&M;, more than 300 people had lined up an hour before the store's 5 a.m. opening Friday. And Macy's, which opened at midnight Friday, "was a zoo," said Tammy Do, a student at Orange Coast College.
"Shoes were, like, everywhere," Do said.
Wilcox, who had stopped to buy a tall Starbucks coffee, said this year things were looking up. She's a stay-at-home mom and recently divorced. She'd been shopping since 10 p.m. for apparel to clothe her 8-year-old daughter and the American Girl doll that was last year's Christmas present.
"It's better than it was three years go," Wilcox said.
Do, who had been shopping since 11 p.m., took a break on a mall bench with her younger sister Tammy, their legs obscured by shopping bags from Aldo and Forever 21.
"Oh, most of these aren't mine," Do explained.
Do said she was trying to reduce her spending this year. She's a student who works part time as a secretary and hopes to study dental hygiene. With all the news of budget cuts, spending more feels foolish, she said.
Just before H&M; opened its doors at 5 a.m., Yurina Andrade, a student at Orange Coast College, waited at the front of the line. She and her friends had been taking shifts in line since 10 a.m. Thursday, fending off queue cutters.
"People are crazy," Andrade said. "They'll do anything."
At the back of the H&M; line, 22-year-old Bryant Pham fought a yawn. He had come from the Irvine Spectrum H&M;, which opened at midnight. By the time he made his way inside there, the men's section had been decimated. He came to South Coast to try again, only to find 300 people in line in front of him.
"I just want a cardigan, man," Pham said.