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‘Packed’ Friday at Walmart


November 26, 2011

A minor incident at the Walmart Store failed to produce an official report and off-duty police working the store for its Black Friday promotions said it was "very well organized by the store."

Police were unsure but said there was apparently "an argument over towels" that were on special.

Several off-duty Salem officers worked the event.

Article Photos

Holiday bargain hunters pack Salem’s walmart at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The parking lot was so crowded customers were walking from nearby plazas and had packed the Dunkin’ Donut lot and drive-through preventing the store from re-opening as planned for a time. (Salem News photo by Patti Schaeffer)

One arrived at the store, which is located in the 2400 block of East State St., at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

"The lot was full," Officer Brad Davis said, "it was the busiest I've ever seen it."

The store planned price specials on different items at various times beginning at midnight.

Police estimated about 2,000 people turned up at Walmart for the kickoff to Black Friday.

Another officer, Lt. Dave Casto, came in at midnight and couldn't find a parking place and had to be dropped off.

Parking was at a premium, Casto said, noting that outlying lots, including Dunkin' Donuts and Pelican Park, both to the west, the Terry Town Plaza and even the Home Depot lot across the street to the north, were crowded with shoppers' vehicles.

Cars were parking in the Dunkin' Donut drive-through lane and store personnel were advised they could have them towed away.

Police heard some shoppers jumped the gun "grabbing arm loads" of merchandise before the sale started and had to return them.

Casto said Walmart had the event "very well organized" and the parking lot was almost cleared by 1:30 a.m.

Larry Shields can be reached at



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