Sunday 22 April 2018

Nutella discounts spark violence and stampedes across France

A customer carries away pots of Nutella spread, as others congregate around display of the product in a supermarket in Toulon southern France. Photo: AP
A customer carries away pots of Nutella spread, as others congregate around display of the product in a supermarket in Toulon southern France. Photo: AP

Mark Molloy

A Nutella price drop sent French shoppers into a frenzy and sparked brawling and stampedes in supermarket aisles across the country.

French media reported there were "riots in several stores across France" after supermarket chain Intermarché reduced the price on a 950g pot of the Ferrero chocolate spread by 70pc.

The price reduction, from €4.50 to €1.41, led to pandemonium with police called to restore order at a store in Marles-les-Mines, in northern France, as customers jostled waiting for it to open.

"They were going for each other like animals," said one employee at a store in Rive-de-Gier, in central France.

"One woman had her hair pulled, another's hand was bleeding and an elderly woman was hit over the head with a box. It was horrible."

One customer at a store in L'Homre, near the eastern central city of Saint-Étienne, was left with a black eye from the pushing and shoving,

"We were trying to get in between the customers but they were pushing us," said one employee, who added the store had sold out of Nutella in just 15 minutes.

At another store frenzied shoppers were filmed jostling for Nutella and scooping jars into plastic bags.

The demand was so huge in one store that three-months-worth of Nutella stock was sold within a few hours. ​

"People just rushed in, shoving everyone, breaking things," an employee in the north-eastern town of Forbarch said.

"It was like an orgy. We were on the verge of calling the police."

There were long queues outside some stores before the sale began, and some bargain hunters even arrived a day early.

Irish Independent

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