It may sound ironic, but an authorized Apple retailer in Malaysia had to abort a massive clearance sale of iPhones and iPads following an overwhelming response from buyers. Hundreds of people tried to force their way into the store and the store had to down the shutters as the crowd went out of control on Friday, March 2.
Switch, a Malaysian Apple reseller, was about to hold a clearance sale on older iPhone and iPad models, where it would be selling the Apple iPhone 5s at just $50 (approx. Rs 3,250), and iPads starting at just $79 (approx. Rs 5,150). It was only natural that consumers throughout the country were attracted by the deals. But the reseller had never expected a crowd of over 11,000 people to gather in the mall.
A long queue formed outside the store on the evening before the sale was scheduled to go live. People started thronging the mall where the store is located the entire night, even though midnight queues were not allowed at the mall.
The queues inside the mall were so big that they started at the store's entrance and ended outside the mall's parking lot. Needless to say, it must have been very difficult for Switch and the mall employees to control such a big crowd.
According to PhoneArena, Switch employees handed out claim tickets or tokens to those who were present on the front of the line. But as the doors were opened, the crowd became unruly as everyone tried to push their way into the store. To control the unruly mob, the retailer was left with no other option than to shut its doors and cancel the sale altogether.
Switch later posted a public apology on its Facebook page to all the customers "who came from other states, woke up early, stayed up all night, braved the traffic and temperature at night."
To make up for the inconvenience caused and disappointment to the buyers, Switch has announced discounts (albeit a bit smaller) on newer iPhones. The retailer offered small discounts (after realizing the damage big discounts can do) on the Apple iPhone X 64GB and iPhone 6 (32GB).