Yes, you read that right. A sale on the PlayStation 4 console ceremoniously backfired when crowds swelled to uncontrollable numbers as shoppers tried to grab a bargain. The supermarket chain responsible, Lidl, has now cancelled the sale.
Hosted at a branch of Lidl in near Paris, the PlayStation 4 console was available for just €95 EUR. A significant discount on the typical selling price of €300.
More than 500 people visited the branch after word of the sale had spread on social media. The store itself had not advertised the sale, yet authorities say some customers had even camped in front of the shop the night prior.
Police were forced to intervene to disperse the influx of customers at 8 am CEST, shortly before the shop was due to open.
Videos on Snapchat appear to show that tear gas was also fired outside the supermarket entrance. The Gendarmerie stated that this followed ‘a bottle being thrown at a policeman’.
“It was tense at the opening, we hired 70 people to restore order and we had to push back the crowd,” said the Gendarmerie.
Authorities say that the situation had returned to normal by 10.30 am CEST, but around 150 people remained outside. Despite this, the store remained closed.
“We believe that the safety conditions are not in place to keep the supermarket open,”Lidl, via Twitter
“We were very surprised by this craze and we apologize for the inconvenience.”
The company says the special promotion of PlayStation 4 consoles in Orgeval resulted from a former sale of the consoles in April 2018, before the men’s football world cup. Lidl had previously sold PS4 models for €80 in February for the opening of a store in Épernay.
Meanwhile, Sony Interactive Entertainment has continued to release information on the PlayStation 5 console, which is expected to launch late 2020. The console itself has been revealed, but no price point has yet be announced.