China Beijing’s flagship Apple store egged

China's flagship Apple store egged

Angry customers threw eggs at Apple’s flagship Beijing store today after its opening for the Chinese launch of the iPhone 4S was cancelled due to concerns over the size of the crowd.

Apple reacted to the scuffle by postponing iPhone 4S sales in its mainland China stores to protect the safety of customers and employees. It said the phone will still be sold online and through its local carrier.

Customers including migrant workers hired by touts in teams of 20 to 30 to buy iPhones for resale at a mark-up to Chinese gadget fans waited overnight in freezing weather at the Apple store in Beijing’s eastern Sanlitun district.

The crowd grew angry after the store failed to open on schedule at 7am. Some threw eggs and shouted at employees through the windows.

A person with a megaphone announced the sale was cancelled. Police ordered the crowd to leave and sealed off the area with yellow tape. Employees posted a sign saying the iPhone 4S was out of stock.

“We were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd and, to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being,” said Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.

Other Apple stores in China opened today and Ms Wu said the iPhone 4S quickly sold out.

She said the phone will still be sold in China through Apple’s online store, its local carrier China Unicom and retailers which are authorised resellers.

Ms Wu declined to comment on what Apple might know about touts buying iPhones for resale.

China is Apple’s fastest-growing market and “an area of enormous opportunity”, chief executive Tim Cook said in October. He said quarterly sales were up nearly four times over a year earlier and accounted for one-sixth of Apple’s global sales.

Apple’s iPhones are hugely popular in China and stores are mobbed for the release of new products.

iPhones are manufactured in China by an Apple contractor but new models are released in other countries first. That has helped to fuel a thriving “grey market” in China for phones smuggled in from Hong Kong and other markets.

Last May, the Sanlitun store was closed for several hours after a scuffle between an employee and a customer during the release of the iPhone 4, the previous model in the series.

If you are located in the good old USA…..there is no need to throw eggs….just go online and have it delivered to your home.  Buy it from Walmart and save some money….


Wal-Mart Canada plans to open 40 SuperCenters

walmart toysThe Canadian Press

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Wal-Mart Canada is ramping up expansion plans for its supercentres — the extra-large locations that combine general merchandise and groceries.

The retail giant says it will open 40 new Canadian supercentres in its upcoming fiscal year starting Feb. 1 through both renovating and relocating some existing stores and constructing new ones.

While the location of the new stores hasn’t been announced yet, the plan will expand the supercentre concept into Manitoba and Quebec, and represents a combined investment of nearly $500 million.

Wal-Mart said the plan could create more than 9,200 jobs in stores and in the construction sector.

The retailer opened its first Canadian supercentres in Ontario in 2006.  At the end of this month it will have 325 stores, of which 124 will be supercentres.

It seems like they are beefing themselves up for a new neighbor coming to town….Target.

The most recent toy exclusive from Wal-Mart Canada is the Team Canada Series 2 figures which was release in 2010.  Click on the image below to see more exclusives from Walmart.

Sidney Crosby Red Jersey Figure

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death by 2008 Black Friday Shoppers

Black Friday Trample

A male worker at a New York WalMart was killed Friday when anxious shoppers trampled him in their rush for Black Friday bargains, witnesses say.

Witnesses to the early morning incident in Valley Stream, N.Y., said the unidentified worker had been attempting to hold back a wave of customers after the store opened, only to be knocked down and trampled underfoot, the New York Daily News said.

He was bum-rushed by 200 people, Jimmy Overby, a co-worker of the man’s, said. They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too … I literally had to fight people off my back.

Witnesses claim that before the store was closed, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the worker’s life.

“They were working on him, but you could see he was dead,” said Halcyon Alexander, 29. “People were still coming through.”

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation, and she and the unborn baby were both reported to be OK, said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau County police spokesman. Four or five other people suffered minor injuries, he said.

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman at National Retail Federation, said the group knew of no other incident where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving.

Wal-Mart is working closely with police, company spokesman Dan Fogleman said.

“The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority,” Fogleman said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families at this difficult time.”

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

My Two Cents:

This is a tragic event.  I heard it on the radio during lunch today and it really put a damper on the day.

For once, a lawsuit is going to be warranted. I hope the family of this employee gets a few hundred million out of Walmart for this.  I feel this is totally Wal-Mart’s responsibility to keep their employees and customers safe.  I guess they wanted to save a few bucks to avoid hiring some security outside the store.  A few employees or security personnel outside the store directing people around would have avoided this.

The other solution is to give out ticket stubs for the sales inside (they do that in Canada).  Once all the tickets have been given out…there is less madness.  When the doors open, people just take their time entering the store (ticket stub holders have 1 hour to pick up the item).