Shops in Wrexham are gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year so far – Black Friday.
Retailers at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre are bringing in extra staff and unveiling a host of offers ready for the expected avalanche of shoppers as footfall goes through the roof on Friday, November 25.
The discount day, renowned for massive markdowns and incredible offers, provides a huge pre-Christmas boost for the centre’s stores and cafes.
Debenhams will open for an extra two hours of trading with deputy manager Andy Smethurst describing last year’s Black Friday as “absolutely huge.”
Black Friday is an American tradition that began in the 1930s and signals the start of the Christmas shopping season.
In recent years Black Friday swept across the Atlantic and is now an eagerly awaited shopping extravaganza with retailers slashing prices for a limited period.
Traditionally the best deals were to be found on electrical and high-tech gadgets but in recent years clothing and other retailers have got in on the act.
This year Black Friday deals will be available ahead of the big day with some stores following on-line retailer Amazon’s lead and cutting prices days before the official launch.
Eagles Meadow mobile phone store EE will start their Black Friday sales on Wednesday, November 23, a full two days earlier than Black Friday.
According to store manager Samantha Ellis, it’s now probably the busiest day of the year for them.
She said: “We have loads of offers on phones and accessories but we don’t find out until the day before exactly what offers we will have. Everything is a closely guarded secret until the day.
“We have customers coming in asking what deals we have ahead of Black Friday. It happens every year. It’s full-on the whole day, or this year three days. I’m expecting it to be very busy every day.”
The deputy manager of the O2 store at Eagles Meadow, Stevie McNair, said: “We have to make sure we have everyone in as we know it’s going to be hectic, it always is. Every year we have a real spike in sales on Black Friday.”
Ceri Roberts, a section manager at the M&S store at Eagles Meadow said: “There will be substantial discounts to be had across all departments.
“Black Friday is always a busy time of year and we will have extra staff on duty. It is an event that has grown in popularity over recent years.”
Cheryl Jones, the manager of the Pandora jewellery store, said: said: “It’s always really busy and we bring in extra staff as they are needed. This year, although I haven’t been given details of all the offers as yet, I do know we have an amazing deal on a bracelet bundle with a limited edition charm.
“Once they have gone that’s it, they are gone. I know it is going to be absolutely hectic all day. Whether we decide to stay open longer than normal will depend on just how busy it is.”
Debenhams women’s wear supervisor, Sophie Roberts, revealed the store will extend opening times by two hours on Black Friday.
She said: “We will have substantial discounts across all departments. Black Friday is always a busy day and we are expecting this year to be no different, it’s certainly one of if not our busiest day of the year.”
Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre manager, Kevin Critchley says Black Friday is fast becoming a British retail tradition.
He said: “It got its name as American retailers saw the day as the one when they moved into profit, or into the black, as opposed to being in the red. In America Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving Day, which is usually on the fourth Monday in November.
“Traditionally, it’s been a day when electrical items and gadgets have been heavily discounted. I know last year, for example, smart phones sold very well. But now fashion stores, jewellers and other retailers have got in the act.
“We expect to see very busy trading throughout the event and in the days leading up to Black Friday.”
He added: “And with our stores now decorated ready for Christmas it’s a great time to go shopping and grab a bargain or two.
“The run up to Christmas is my favourite time of year as there is always something going on and the shops are at the best with Christmas decorations and lights everywhere.
“And now we have vastly reduced car parking charges I expect this year’s Black Friday to be our busiest yet.”
To find out more about Eagles Meadow including opening times please visit www.eagles-meadow.co.uk