Leicester shops take action to prepare themselves for Black Friday rush
By Luke Cowley
Shops in the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester are bracing themselves for Black Friday, with some taking precautionary actions to reduce the rush of customers.
The event based around the American holiday thanksgiving, which falls on November 25 this year, has seen stores such as Menkind, House of Fraser and Bodyshop offer their deals for a longer period of time in an attempt to reduce the crowds, while others opted to offer no discounts at all.
Martin Scales, Store Manager at Menkind, said: “We’ve had our deals spread across a whole week because of past incidents where we’ve been really busy all at one time.
“A lot of other stores are doing the same within the centre, or similar, in order to avoid the huge rush that this time of year invariably brings.”
Around 35% of stores in Highcross Shopping Centre have extended their Black Friday deals, with many offering their discounts from Wednesday 23 for a week.
This shift in the schedule of the event deals means the public are also given the opportunity to spread their Christmas shopping across the week while avoiding masses of other bargain-seekers.
Last year, UK consumers spent £3.3bn between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with £1.1bn being spent on Black Friday itself overall, whilst only £810 million was spent in 2014.
This year an expected £1bn is expected to be spent on Black Friday in the UK.
Jack Purdae, information desk assistant in Highcross, said: “Last year wasn’t that busy, but now we have a lot more shops that people will want to go to and overall the centre has improved a lot in the past year.”
In the past year Highcross has seen popular stores such as Cath Kidston, Skechers and Samsung set up shop in the centre.
Speaking of the Black Friday rushes, Andy Gossage, a Deputy Regional Manager at GAME said: “You have to be prepared for this time of year, otherwise it can be a nightmare time of year.
“Retailers have to deal with this peak period in the most fitting way for themselves.”
Highcross will be open from 9am until 9pm this Friday, November 25 while Haymarket Shopping Centre will be open from 7:30 until 7pm.