POLICE had to be called in as bargain-hunters tried to force their way into an already full Wigan Tesco store at the start of Black Friday last night.
Two men were ejected for causing a disturbance and dozens more turned away because there were already more than 200 people inside the Central park hypermarket shortly before midnight.
Now in its second year in the UK, the American-born phenomenon sees stores offering special pre-Christmas discounts for one day only.
Wigan Tesco Extra’s day was due to start at 12am on Friday and hundreds of shoppers turned up in good time to catch the best deals.
But, as was the case in several other supermarkets around Greater Manchester at the same time, the event caused something of a scrum.
A police spokesman said that the store management decided that it could only accommodate so many people at one time, so leaving around 60 disgruntled would-be shoppers at the front. Some then tried to push their way in and, at about 11.30pm the police were called.
The spokesman added that some shoppers were also agitated because there was not enough stock for everyone.
After two men were ejected, police say that “control was restored.”
No such problems happened at Wigan Asda though because it only started its Black Friday at 6am.
But elsewhere across Greater Manchester there were other policing problems with Tescos.
Officers were called to its on Ashton Road West, Failsworth at 11.40pm yesterday, after more than 500 people attended the store.
The Tesco store at Ellesmere Shopping Centre in Walkden was closed down after a crowd of more than 500 people attended. Shoppers were asked to leave.
The Tesco Extra in Stretford was closed after fights broke out between shoppers trying to get their hands on sale stock.
A woman suffered minor injuries after being hit by a falling television and an ambulance was called. The store was closed at 12.36am, just over half an hour after the sales event started.
Shortly after 1.05am, police were called to the Tesco on Woodrow Way, Salford. One man was arrested on suspicion of assault after his conduct in store was challenged by staff. He threatened to “smash” a staff member’s face in.
At 12.40am, the Tesco Extra on Barton Road, Middleton, was also at the centre of a police incident following reports that around 200 people would not leave, despite being told stock had all gone. Doors had been locked but they refused to leave. No arrests were made.
And shortly after 12.05amy, police called to Tesco Extra on Stockport Road, Hattersley, following reports of fighting in store. Approximately 300 people were present in store and staff were advised to close. One man was arrested for a public order offence.