Leicester’s Highcross was filled with shoppers this Friday, November 23, as stores took part in the annual Black Friday sales.
Black Friday originated in America and takes place on the day after Thanksgiving as a way to encourage shoppers to spend more money in the run up to Christmas by reducing prices for one day only.
In America, it is usually the busiest shopping day of the year and in recent years, the tradition has made its way across the pond to the UK, where shops and websites have lowered their prices for a 24-hour period.
Leicester city centre was besieged by shoppers on Friday, November 23, as hundreds of stores around Leicester took part in Black Friday.
Casey Ellis, an employee of Urban Outfitters in the Highcross, said: “It has been busier than usual. I mean, we haven’t seen the crowds that you see in America, but compared to an average Friday, we’ve had a lot more sales.
“We had some items that are being sold at 50% off, so we did expect a lot of people to be coming in and we weren’t wrong.”
Mr Ellis continued: “I think it’s a great way for not only the shop to bring in money but also for people to grab a good bargain and maybe get some discounted presents in before Christmas.”
Black Friday was given the name as it is often the day that shops “move into the black”, meaning they have enough money to cover their costs while reducing prices.
Erin Howell, 20 and a student who went shopping in the Highcross during the sales said: “I think it’s really good. Some people really struggle financially at this time of year so having a day where prices are reduced on almost everything, can really help people out.”
“I went to the Highcross and made a few purchases that were in the sale and to be honest the only thing is I saw some things that I bought the other week at full price that are now on sale, so that was a bit annoying,” Miss Howell joked.
Black Friday isn’t something all shops decided to take part in however, with supermarket ASDA no longer taking part in the 24-hour event due to an incident that occurred at a store in Wembley where customers were caught wrestling over a television.
George Osborne, 21 and an aspiring bodybuilder and online training coach said: “I’m not too keen on Black Friday if I’m honest. Sure, it’s nice getting some discounted trainers or whatever, but for me and my business it’s not ideal.
“I’ve felt a bit pressured this year to reduce my prices on Black Friday. There have been tonnes of comments on my Youtube asking what deals I’ll have going on and yeah it’s nice to help people out don’t get me wrong, but I’m trying my best to start a company here, so dropping my prices, which I try my best to make reasonable year-round, isn’t great.”