Black Friday helps left centre footfall

Idlewells Shopping Centre, Sutton In Ashfield
Idlewells Shopping Centre, Sutton In Ashfield

Sutton’s Idlewells Centre has reported a nine per cent increase in footfall on Black Friday - compared to the same day last year.

Shopkeepers have reported that the originally American festive discount day really took off this year, with most offering some kind of money off deal and shoppers taking advantage of late-night shopping and free parking.

Chloe O’Donnell, assistant centre manager, said: “There was a noticeable difference between this year and last.

“I visited 6-7 units on the day and they were all quite flustered and not expecting it to be as busy as it was.

“Black Friday is still quite new and a lot of people do not understand it but we had already arranged for retailers to stay open late that night.

“Offering free parking between 5pm-8pm really helped.

“The centre had a great, busy festive vibe – we even caught a few shoppers singing along to our festive tunes.”

Retailers such as Argos, B&M Bargains, Peacocks, The Sweet Explosion and Cake Fusion all stayed open late to satisfy the shoppers’ needs until 8pm.

But, despite the bargains on offer, Idlewells thankfully did not see the chaotic scenes that other UK stores bore witness to.

Greater Manchester Police appealed for calm on Friday after attending seven Tesco shops, at which three men were arrested and a woman was hit by a falling television.

Chris Hobson, of the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, said: “Black Friday got its name because the bargains offered massively increased footfall and for many shops drove their books into the black for the year.

“The timing of the event is a massive kickstart for Christmas shopping but it needs to be managed to ensure high street and online shoppers can equally and safely enjoy the benefits and bargains the event offers.”