There were scenes of violence this morning when a mountain equipment store in Chamonix held its first ever Black Friday sale.

The staff of Premiere Ascente were overpowered as soon as they opened the doors, with one employee disappearing under a stampede of crampons.

"It was brutal" said a local snowboarder. "I saw an ice axe buried in someone's eye socket, and another guy impaled on half a splitboard."

"By the time I got out of there I was covered in blood - but fortunately this new Gore-Tex shell jacket I picked up meant that none of it got on my merino wool mid-layer."

With sales records broken by lunchtime, the manager of Premiere Ascente declared the store's first Black Friday a success, adding that "there's definitely going to be a noticeable knock-on effect for other businesses in the area, such as florists and funeral homes."

The deaths marked the blackest day in Chamonix since last Thursday, when a dozen people died attempting a synchronised wingsuit jump through the Aiguille du Midi cable car.