Mayhem over New Air Jordans Shuts Down Eastland Center

Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, March 7, 2016

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At 8 a.m., when the doors opened at the Kids Foot Locker for the highly anticipated release of the Girls’ Air Jordan 12 Retro Vivid Pink shoe, crowds rushed the gate, broke a lock, shoved and hollered. Police immediately shut the mall down.

At 10 a.m., the store tried to open again and the same thing happened, according to William McClure, the general manager at Eastland Center.

“Both times, it was shut down by the police for public safety . . . all over a tennis shoe,” McClure said. “It’s frustrating. It got unruly, the police shut it down.”

Nobody was hurt. But things got so chaotic that Kids Foot Locker agreed not to sell the Air Jordan 12 Retro shoe and posted a sign outside its door.

So the eager crowd went around the corner to Champs, which was also offering the highly-coveted shoe, which sells for $79.99 for older girls, $59.99 for preschoolers, and $49.99 for toddlers. To avoid an incident, the store kept it’s gate closed for hours and handed out raffle tickets to people just to get inside the store. At 12:30 p.m. a security guard shouted “if you have a ticket, we are sold out.”

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Nearby stores, such as Kay Jewelers, chose not to open today to avoid the chaos.

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“This is ridiculous,” grumbled a mall employee whose store was blocked by the line outside Champs.

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