Black Friday, a modern US tradition where shops heavily discount their goods the day after Thanksgiving, in Britain is probably having its most disappointing day ever in actual shops.
Instead of the fanfare of bustling queues and stampedes for cut-price TVs — it looks like everyone is just shopping online.
That’s not to say some people aren’t hitting the shops and parting with some cash but judging by people who have bothered to queue up overnight to buy clothes, electronics, and anything else at a discounted price — it sounds like it wasn’t completely worth it.
Black Friday is synonymous with shopper-on-shopper scuffles and stampedes, just as much as the word “discount,” and this has led to some unlucky British journalists being forced to get up before 4 in the morning to head to the shops and hopefully catch some crazy consumer action.
However, judging by some of the tweets out there, shoppers have failed to provide the Black Friday frenzy that the day is famous for. In fact, it looks like British people really can’t be bothered to queue up overnight or really early anymore, leaving just a handful of people grabbing a discount:
So Tesco have just opened up for Black Friday in Bolton – more staff than customers! 10 been let in – feel like I’m in Supermarket Sweep!
— Saeed Atcha (@saeedatcha) November 27, 2015
If you think these are just isolated incidences, then you’d be wrong. This is what the Press Association had to say:
The Boots flagship store on Sedley Place was one of a handful of shops which opened extra early, advertising deals on huge posters by the shop entrance.
But the doors flung open to two waiting journalists and no customers.
Elsewhere Norfolk Police were on site at Blue Boar Tesco in Norwich in case of trouble, but the queue of around 18 people moved slowly and politely through the doors as they opened up.
The scene at Surrey Quays Tesco was more calm than last year, when police were called to reports of arguments breaking out.
Around 30 people waited in the queue before making their way into the store as security guards looked on.
Shoppers certainly may not be bothered to get out of bed early and brave the alleged crowds but it seems like, if there is any activity, it’s mostly online.
On BBC Radio 4 this morning, Gary Booker of Carphone Dixons told the Today programme that the retailer already bagged “well over 100 reserve and collect” orders. The BBC also reported that MBNA predicts that over £1 billion will be spent online this year — just on Black Friday.
“That trip into the shopping centres at the weekend is becoming less of a phenomenon, ” said Mark Elliot, corporate affairs officer at MBNA to the BBC.
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