Shoppers have been out in force around Doncaster today for the annual bargain hunting frenzy for ‘Black Friday’.
Lakeside Village is extending the day-long bonanza across the whole weekend with offers ranging from 50 per cent off on Jeff Banks products to Costa Coffee offering a free ceramic travel cup to every 50th customer.
Cheryl Sadler, centre manager, said footfall has been much higher than a usual shopping day as visitors search for top festive deals.
She said: “It’s certainly been busier than normal here at Lakeside Village today, with shoppers out to snap up our Black Friday deals.
“However, the deals don’t stop when Friday comes to a close. We wanted to extend our stores’ offers for a couple of days longer and give people the chance to benefit without the pressure of only being able to clinch a bargain on this one day.
“So, we’re excited to be rolling out Black Friday to a three-day event, running until this Sunday with extra special offers and deals throughout.”
Expect a range of exclusive deals in shops at the Frenchgate Shopping Centre, as prices are being slashed in a bid to attract thousands of bargain hunters.
Stores such as Debenhams, River Island and Game are offering pocket friendly prices.
Laurie Barton Wright, Frenchgate Shopping Centre manager, said it has been extremely busy so far today.
She added: “We were prepared for a busy day because of the media frenzy in the build-up to Black Friday and were not disappointed as we did indeed welcome a lot of customers on the day.
“Footfall has been steadily increasing at Frenchgate in the last few weeks as people begin their Christmas shopping and in the run-up to Black Friday.
“This week in particular we have seen a gradual increase in footfall as many of our stores including Debenhams began their Christmas offers earlier this week.
“Many of our retailers are continuing their offers over the weekend so we are expecting thousands more customers to bag a bargain in Doncaster.”
Poundstretcher at Doncaster Retail Park is also offering deals all weekend. Discounted items include an arctic fur throw, priced at £6.99 down from £9.99, a king size memory foam mattress, now £99.99 down from £149.99 and a variety of television stands, now £19.99 down from £29.99.
Wheatley Hall Road-based car dealership Pentagon has a series of offers, including at least £500 off used cars.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is offering 20 per cent off all parking. Make bookings at www.robinhoodairport.com before midnight on November 30.
The ‘Black Friday’ shopping sensation began as an American tradition, dropping on the day after Thanksgiving each year. It wasn’t until five years ago that retailers decided to attempt to bring the deals to a UK market.
An estimated £810 million was splashed out on Black Friday in the UK last year - more than double the year before.
And this year is expected to see figures rise even further, with estimations that Brits will bag a massive £1.39 billion worth of bargains online and in stores.
A survey by Barclaycard revealed 29 per cent of shoppers plan to spend on consumer electronics with TVs, tablets and mobile phones the most sought-after items.
Chris Wood, chief operating officer at Barclaycard, said: “As a nation of savvy shoppers, British consumers have made Black Friday a key point in the Christmas shopping calendar over the past few years.”
Meanwhile, shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is warning last year’s Black Friday resulted in a two-thirds increase in abuse against retail staff.
Union leader John Hannett has called for calm today after Usdaw’s most recent survey revealed a rise in verbal abuse, threats and violence against shopworkers.
Mr Hannett said: “Our members have real concerns about Black Friday. The last two years have seen unprecedented scenes of mayhem in some stores, as bargain hunting turns into a frenzy.”