Shops at Stretford Mall are gearing up for their busiest day of the year so far – Black Friday.
Retailers across the busy centre are set to unveil a host of offers ready for the expected avalanche of shoppers as footfall goes through the roof on Friday, November 24.
The discount day, renowned for massive markdowns and incredible offers, traditionally provides a huge pre-Christmas boost for stores and cafes.
Most store bosses are keeping the exact details of their discount deals a closely guarded secret but one major retailer said they anticipate reductions of up to 75 per cent on some stock, while another has a special VIP event planned the day before to set shoppers off on the bargain trail.
Black Friday is an American tradition that began in the 1930s and signals the start of the Christmas shopping season.
In recent years the phenomenon has swept across the Atlantic and is now an eagerly awaited shopping extravaganza with retailers slashing prices for a limited period.
The best deals were once to be found on electrical and high-tech gadgets but in recent years clothing and other retailers have got in on the act.
While some Stretford Mall retailers will limit their special offers to the Friday itself a number of others will either have reductions up for grabs in the days running up to it or keep them flowing right over the weekend and beyond.
Getting ready for her first taste of Black Friday action Stretford Mall style is Sarah Baird who has taken over as manager at Boots since the last one was staged.
She said: “At the moment I can’t say exactly what we’ll be doing but we’re definitely going to have some very worthwhile Black Friday offers as this is one of our main sales events of the year.
“We’ll have reductions for the whole week leading up to November 24 and one of these is likely to include up to 75 per cent off some fragrances. There will also be half price offers and star gifts available.
“Black Friday is always very successful for Boots stores right across the country as it comes in the important run-up to Christmas.
“I wasn’t at this branch last year but I’m sure it was just the same here and we’re looking forward to another successful promotion this time round.”
One store boss who has given a hint of the special Black Friday deals he’ll be having is Chris Clark, manager of DCM men’s fashion.
He said: “We have lots of special offers in the store already and we’ll be stepping them up as we head towards Black Friday. The sort of thing we’ll be doing is offering customers the chance to buy one pair of Henry Lloyd jeans and get 20 per cent off a second pair.
“We always seem to do well at Black Friday time and we’re looking forward to this year’s event.”
Amongst the Stretford Mall fashion stores making a special Black Friday effort is Pep & Co where manager Helen Carpenter said: “We’ll be doing loads of mark-downs of up to 50 per cent on a range of items in ladies’, men’s and children’s wear.
“It’s been good for us in previous years because it puts up the footfall of the centre generally and gets us more business too. We’re hoping for another big trading boost this time.”
Amanda Cocker, manager at Peacocks, said: “Last year we did some 20 per cent off offers and I expect we’ll be doing something similar again.
“To lead up to Black Friday we’re staging a VIP evening the previous day, Thursday, when we’ll be having a get-together for people who come in the store. We’ll then keep the special deals going throughout the weekend.”
Another store maintaining the Black Friday momentum will be Fragrance Shop where manager Nichola Derrick said: “We usually start the offers on the Thursday and go on with them for the rest of the following week. It will be things like money off selected fragrances.”
Also joining in the Black Friday action will be the phone shops 02 and Carphone Warehouse.
James Mann, manager at 02, said: “We’ve not decided exactly what we’re doing yet but in previous years we’ve had money off pay-as-you-go handsets, so that’s probably what we’ll do again this time.”
And Carphone Warehouse manager Hanif Kapadia said: “Although we haven’t made the final arrangements yet, it will something like reductions on certain handsets.”
Bon Marche’s manager Sammer Qureshi and Deanna Beckett, manager of Shoe Zone, both said their stores would be getting involved in special promotions.
Stretford Mall manager centre manager Gaeth Wilkins said Black Friday is rapidly 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. But now fashion stores, jewellers and other retailers have got in on the act.
"I’m delighted that so many of the retailers at Stretford Mall are pulling out all the stops to get involved. We expect to see some very busy trading throughout the event.”
To find out more about Stretford Mall including opening times please visit http://www.stretfordmall.com/