Chaos is the name of what happened across the U.S. stores when a re-issue of shoes first worn 15 years ago by basketball legend Michael Jordan went on sale.
Madness was breaking out yesterday in many stores across the U.S. as impatient shoppers queued up to get their hands on the first new Nike retro Air Jordan shoes that went on sale for $180 in the morning.
Police used pepper spray in Seattle, Washington; four people were arrested in Atlanta, Georgia; there were fights in Louisville, Kentucky, and unruly crowds forced two stores shut in Austin, Texas.
Fights broke out in Charlotte, North Carolina; a gunshot was fired in Richmond, California; 1,500 turned up for 300 pairs of shoes in Indianapolis, Indiana; and a boy was injured in Troy, Michigan.
In Pineville, North Carolina, dozens of police officers had to break up fights and restore order inside Carolina Place Mall as early as 5:00 a.m. on Friday.
Outside the Foot Locker on the second floor, two could be seen throwing punches as they waited to get their hands on the Air Jordan XI Concord tennis shoe.
Moving west to Seattle, police used pepper spray on around 20 people to break up fights among pushing and shoving customers waiting outside a mall to buy the shoes.
One man was arrested there for assault after police say he pushed an officer. Authorities said more than 1,000 people lined up to buy shoes at 4:00 a.m. at four stores, which all sold out quickly.
In Atlanta, four people were arrested in a mad dash by customers hoping to purchase a pair of the shoes and up to 20 squad cars responded.
Police said a large crowd broke down a door to get inside before a store opened. Authorities escorted most of the people back outside, but took four into custody.
Officers said they had to break a car window to get two toddlers out after a woman went in after the shoes. They said she was taken into custody when she returned to the car.
Meanwhile in Indianapolis, 1,500 people were waiting for 300 pairs of shoes hours at Castleton Square Mall before they went on sale when police were called by security because of shoving.
Shoppers were throwing things at each other and officers, police told ABC affiliate WRTV. Authorities also had concerns that a glass window on the storefront could break because of the crowd pushing.
The front doors of Lafayette Square Mall were broken off their hinges at 7:00 a.m. as shoppers ran inside and several people were knocked over in the mad rush, reported the Indianapolis Star.
Over in Charlotte, North Carolina, three malls reported unruly customers and dozens of police officers were called to restore order at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville after fights erupted.
The unrest started at 5:00 a.m. as a crowd of about 200 that had been waiting pushed inside. Women were seen throwing punches. There were also disturbances at SouthPark and Northlake malls. Police at both asked patrons to leave.
The shoes named for Michael Jordan are still generate huge sales years after the retirement of the NBA legend, who now owns the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.
Two malls with Foot Locker stores in Austin, Texas, were shut down on Thursday night at around 10:00 p.m. when shoppers began pushing each other and police called in backup to control the crowd.
In Richmond, California, crowds waiting to buy the shoes at the Hilltop Mall were turned away after a gunshot rang out at 7:00 a.m. No injuries were reported but a suspect, 24, was taken into custody.
There were also reports of Florida police using pepper spray. In Louisville, Kentucky, witnesses said police had to break up around 100 shoppers who were fighting over the shoes at Jefferson Mall.
WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT AIR JORDAN SHOES
Air Jordan’s are hugely lucrative for Nike and bring in around $1 billion in revenue each year.
Oregon designer Tinker Hatfield first developed the iconic shoes and they were made famous by basketball legend Michael Jordan in 1996 while he was playing for the Chicago Bulls.
“Jordan 11s only come around once a year, so don’t miss this highly anticipated release,” a Nike press release said earlier this week.