North East retailers prepare for Black Friday


Cancel your plans on November 27th because the biggest shopping day of the year is back and going to be even bigger this year in the UK. With earnings of around £810m spent on Black Friday in 2014, the predictions for 2015 have rose to a huge £1.07billion to be spent this time around.

It’s been five years now since Black Friday came to the UK and each and every year the event has gained more attraction. However, this year, Black Friday is quite a controversial subject.

Should we have Black Friday in the UK? The long-term future of the discount event has been questioned as Asda said to The Guardian that this year they will not be taking part, due to the messy scenes caused last year as well as “shopper fatigue”.

The North Easts largest shopping centres; intu Metrocentre and intu Eldon Square say Black Friday is here to stay with both centres extending their opening and closing times due to the huge demand from customers desperate for a bargain.

The day is quite a significant one for many retailers, so the Metrocentre will be open 7am-10pm and Eldon Square will be open from 8am-9pm. However, this time around police has issued warnings to retailers to ensure they have enough staff and security in their stores to handle to havoc.

Gordon Mckinnon, Operations Director of intu, told the Chronicle: “Last year we saw a 30% increase in visitor numbers on Black Friday compared to a normal Friday and we are expecting similar this year.”

The Bridges, in Sunderland are also getting ready to offer great bargains in the run up to Christmas. The Bridges is promising that the huge discount event will be “one of the best seasonal shopping days ever” and will be extending closing times to 7pm and some stores even until 10pm.

Centre Director, Andy Bradley, said: “Black Friday is growing in popularity every year and we know that our retailers are pulling out all the stops to offer some irresistible bargains”. The Bridges will have some new and exciting retailers by November 27th.

The Bridges do have some other things going on this Christmas season. Santa’s grotto opened yesterday, November 12th, entry will be £1.50 and 50p from every fee will be going to charity, Rotary SR1.

During the Christmas period, the Bridges have extended car park hours and between these hours, from 5:30pm-9pm, parking will be free. There is a great offer going on over Christmas, for anyone who spends more than £100 at a late night shopping event will be able to receive a £10 gift voucher.

The Bridges Christmas hours are listed below:

Mon 7th Dec – Wed 23rd Dec

Mon-Fri – 9am-8pm

Sat – 9am-5:30pm

Sun – 11am-5pm

Christmas Eve – 9am-5:30pm

Christmas Day –CLOSED

Boxing Day – 9am-5:30pm

Sun 27th Dec – 11am-5pm

Mon 28th Dec – Wed 30th Dec – 9am-5:30pm

New Years Eve – 9am-5:30pm

New Years Day – CLOSED

If you’re heading out on a shopping mission for Black Friday tweet us @Fashion_North and let us know what bargains you managed to get your hands on!



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