Fact Check: Video Of Man Entering Store Empty Of Shoppers On Black Friday Was NOT In Biden's Economy -- This Was UK In 2017

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Video Of Man Entering Store Empty Of Shoppers On Black Friday Was NOT In Biden's Economy -- This Was UK In 2017 From 2017

Was a Black Friday video of a lone man entering a store empty of shoppers taken in the U.S. in 2023, reflecting the U.S. economy under President Joe Biden? No, that's not true: This video was shot in the United Kingdom in November 2017. A BBC News correspondent posted this video on what was then Twitter, now X, in 2017, and a news article about the video from the U.K. outlet The Independent was published in November 2017.

The claim appeared on TikTok (archived here) on November 24, 2023. The on-screen text read:

Swarm of Black Friday shoppers ready to spend their money in Biden's 'thriving economy

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Dec 4 19:02:43 2023 UTC)

The video shows store employees opening the front doors to one man, who walks through the store.

Although the post does not identify the store's location or specify a time period beyond a reference to Black Friday, the post's timing and the implication of the text's reference to Biden is that the scene took place in the U.S. in 2023. Neither is true.

The Independent wrote an article (archived here) in November 2017 titled, "Black Friday 2017: Assembled media on Oxford Street disappointed to find just one man waiting outside shop." The Independent article said, in part:

Assorted media gathered at an Oxford Street shop in the early hours to film riotous crowds on Black Friday, but were left disappointed to find just one man waiting outside. Curry's PC World opened two hours early on Friday morning in expectation of a rush from customers hoping to snap up bargains on the annual discount day ... Appearing slightly sheepish at the attention of the assembled media, the man, who said his name was Marcel, glided through the store to pick up his pre-ordered laptop ...

Lead Stories also found an X post (archived here) from November 2017 posted by BBC News correspondent Frankie McCamley. McCamley reported that this video took place in London, posted the video and tagged BBC London News:

Another Lead Stories fact check on Black Friday is here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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