BLACK Friday has kicked off and so far, so calm for UK retailers, The Sun reports. .
Last year saw scenes of chaos as shoppers grappled with each other for electrical items at bargain prices. But while shoppers across the UK braved the cold at the crack of dawn for cheap TVs, there are yet to be any fist fights over half price hoovers. A herd of shoppers stormed through the doors at Tesco Extra in Blackpool bright and early this morning – with some not even changing out of their onesies before hitting the sales
Tesco stores were offering mince pies to freezing bargain-hunters who cowered in the wind and rain until the doors opened at 5am. But as supermarket giant Asda, who saw scenes of madness last year as shoppers flung themselves on cut-price items, decided not to take part in this year’s sale – the atmosphere is much less tense.
Many shops opened at 5am, but were heavily staffed and had police on watch to avoid a repeat of 2014’s chaos. Shoppers in Lancashire braved the cold at the crack of dawn to visit the Tesco Extra store in Burnley, but were given team talks on the dos and don’ts before entering the store – including “no abuse or violence” and “enjoy yourselves”.
This is a marked difference from last year, when one shopper claims she saw a woman place her baby on a TV so no-one else could get their hands on it. Another shopper said she’d been up all night getting her hands on as many Argos bargains as she could. She said: “I haven’t been to sleep, I’ve been up all night shopping. I had the laptop, tablet and mobiles on looking for bargains. We are just greedy.”
Many stores have taken extra precautions this year, after warnings from police firms need to ensure they have enough security staff on board in case of any trouble. One shopper in Cardiff’s Western Avenue Tesco store was already disappointed with the sales – as she was told she could not purchase the basic items, a cucumber and a loaf of bread, she had come to buy.
Elsewhere in the UK, 100 people braved the northern winds outside Tesco Extra in Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne before the opening time of 5am. As customers became concerned about the growing numbers, they were assured by staff there was enough stock for everyone.
In Liverpool, shoppers at JD sports became disgruntled after staff refused to let them indoors – despite it being 7.43am. Eileen, who hit the sales early doors for some bargains, kicked off at a shop-worker as she vied for entrance. But while stores may be quiet, online shops have already crashed with the amount of people trying to get hold of bargains online.
By 7.30am eight websites were already out of stock on a number of items, with tens of thousands of people looking for bargains at the same time. In the USA, scenes were more manic – as shoppers fought over cheap household items. One video shows a shopper ripping a vegetable steamer out a small child’s arms before pushing the littlun’s mum.
Staff at a Target store even came up with a special Black Friday rap, encouraging customers to make the most of their cut-price stock. A fist-fight broke out in an American store, with shoppers battering each other as the Black Friday frenzy hits full throttle. Stunned shoppers watched on as two men came to blows in the middle of a busy shopping centre.
Jeweller Tresor Paris has given what could be the biggest Black Friday discount – knocking a whopping £25,000 off a 3ct diamond and 226ct blue topaz white gold pendant. It is expected customers could spend their way to the UK’s first £1 billion in online shopping day today.
Ebay is expecting nine million Britons to visit its website today, Argos, Currys PC World and AOL.com are all offering hundreds of pounds off selected items. Have you got a complaint? Let A Spokesman Said give it publicity.