As has become a tradition, stores all over the country opened before dawn luring customers in with tempting deals.
But the rush to shop in at least two stores took a grim turn.
Police described a mob scene at a Wal-Mart on Long Island in New York, as shoppers literally stepped on a fallen worker on their way inside. According to police, a throng of shoppers had been trying to get into the store. They broke down the doors and knocked the 34-year-old man to the ground. He later died.
And across the country in California, police say two people were shot dead inside a Toys R Us store in Palm Desert. The incident appears to be unrelated to shopping.
Despite these two deadly incidents, the Black Friday ritual of vigorous shopping and spending seemed to proceed uneventfully elsewhere.