Nottingham shoppers to shun the high street for online sales on Black Friday

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Early risers queue outside Currys PC World on Black Friday last year.

More than half of Nottingham shoppers will splash cash in the sales on Black Friday – although the majority will shun the high street in favour of shopping online.

Nottingham-based retail IT specialists Retail Assist found that 59 per cent of local shoppers say they will be looking for Black Friday discounts – but 77 per cent of them will buy online.

The company predicts a record £5 billion will be spent in the UK over the whole weekend on internet purchases alone – although £1 billion of the products purchased will end up being returned, according to other analysts.

Unlike previous years, the day of discounts has been extended over five days, which Retail Assist dubbed as ‘Black Fiveday’, running from Thursday, November 24, through to ‘Cyber Monday’ on November 28.

What is Black Friday?

  • Black Friday originates from the United States and takes place on the day after Thanksgiving.
  • In recent years it has been adopted in the UK and has become one of Britain’s busiest shopping days.
  • The name ‘Black Friday’ originated in Philadelphia where it was used by police to describe congestion on the streets, incidents of shoplifting and people fighting over purchases.

The move to online is thought to be a result of the extensive queues and in-store fights seen in 2014, which caused chaos across the country.

So will the high street still see swarms of shoppers at the end of the week – or has Black Friday had its day?

Retail Assist marketing executive Rhianne Poole said: “It’s hard to say – but there is definitely more preference towards online shopping.

“It’s just more convenient.

“The difference this year is events will take place across the whole week instead of just on one day, so there will be less of a rush to get to the shops on Friday morning.”

Despite the preference for shopping online, Rhianne doesn’t think Nottingham retailers will miss out.

She said: “With Nottingham’s vibrant retail scene and the run-up to Christmas people will go out and spend regardless.

“There is still demand and lots of shops will have offers, so I don’t see Nottingham retailers suffering at all.”

Independent clothes shop Stick and Ribbon, based on Bridlesmith Walk, are not taking part in Black Friday but will instead hold a ‘yellow star weekend’ offering special discounts in-store.

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Shoppers in Nottingham on Black Friday 2015.

Shop owner Sally Longden said: “Black Friday is depressing and people associate it with negative thoughts and bad memories.

“They won’t come into town because they don’t want to be bombarded by big crowds or wait in long queues like we have seen in previous years.”

Although the store offers online shopping, Sally thinks the lack of people visiting the city centre will affect her business.

She said: “The preference for online shopping will affect us hugely.

“People won’t go shopping on Friday and will choose to stay at home instead.

“We want to encourage people to come into the shop and make the whole experience more cheery.”

Black Friday deals – some eye-catching bargains

  • Pieminister, on Long Row, is handing out free pies in return for donations to homelessness charity Shelter.
  • The Treat Kitchen, on Wheeler Gate, is selling fudge kits at half price on Friday only.
  • Boots has already reduced prices on hundreds of fragrances, beauty and electrical products, and will announce more in-store offers on the day.
  • Argos is offering 13 days of deals including up to 50 per cent off toys, electricals and home furniture.
  • Currys PC World launched 10 days of discounts on Monday (November 21) including savings on TVs, computers and home electricals.
  • John Lewis will continue to match all competitors’ prices and will announce more in-store sales on Thursday (November 24).
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