‘Black Friday’ has produced some terrifying scenes across the UK with police called to control crowds at a number of supermarkets.
But shoppers in Bury St Edmunds have had a more pleasant experience.
Crowds gathered outside Asda, in Western Way, hoping to grab a bargain when the shop opened at 8am.
Deals included 40 inch LED TVs at £139 (which sold out before 10am) and Call of Duty games for £20, with some items reduced by a whopping 80 per cent.
General store manager Justin Pedley said his priority this morning was to look after customers and colleagues.
“We had about 100-120 people queuing, but we’re really pleased with everyone - they were really calm. We’ve had none of the shenanigans off the TV - you see that and think I don’t want that.”
Mr Pedley brought in 30 extra staff to cope with the high demand of people expected, and segregated discounted items to make it safer for everyone involved.
“The queue got a little bigger as we were opening the store, but we were really clear it wasn’t a free-for-all. The key was good communication so customers knew what was going to happen and we were slowing the crowd as it was coming in.”
Asda will be hosting another discount event from 8am tomorrow, with different items due to get their prices slashed including Xbox Ones and LG TVs.
“We’re looking forward to doing it again tomorrow,” said Mr Pedley, whose advice is to get there early.
“These will be the best prices all year,” he added.
Tesco in St Saviours Interchange did ‘a big reveal’ at midnight, unveiling around 200 discounted lines.
Some items were reduced by as much as 50 per cent, with TVs the best selling item.
“It was great, really well received and we’ve been busy right from the off which is great for us,” said store manager Rob Mill, who also enlisted the help of extra staff.
“Most of what we had, we sold. There’s very little left to be honest, but some stuff’s available.”
The store is planning a weekend of offers with 25 per cent off clothing and more TVs due to go on sale.
Meanwhile, independent businesses in St John’s Street have also been getting in on the action.
Odyssey is offering 20 per cent off anything black, except snowboards, bindings and boots.
Owner Chris Woollam said: “We’re taking part in Black Friday to encourage people to shop with us, but it’s also a slightly ironic take on it - we have a 20 per cent discount on black items which is something a bit different.”
He added: “People are finding the idea rather amusing but it’s also encouraging them to look at items they perhaps wouldn’t otherwise look at. So yes, it’s been a success so far.”
Customers shopping at Mick’s Cycles have been saving 20 per cent on clothing, tyres and Carrera helmets, 15 per cent on shoes, 10 per cent on lighting and up to 20 per cent on servicing.
A promotional board outside the store reads: “Crazy Black Friday Deals Instore Today.”
Co-owner Derek Hailstone said he had decided to ‘jump on the Black Friday bandwagon’ because he thought it would be a great opportunity to boost sales and ‘push a few bits’.
He said: “It’s going well - we’ve had a lot of people taking advantage of it today and we’ll be running it right up to Sunday night. It doesn’t hurt to give 10, 15, even 20 per cent away.”
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