Bargain hunters across South Yorkshire were a lot calmer during this year’s Black Friday sales.
Retailers across the region reported an increase in footfall but the chaotic scenes of last year were not repeated as shoppers snapped up cut-price deals.
The Tesco Extra store, in Spital Hill, Sheffield opened its doors at 5am but staggered the entry of shoppers to prevent similar scenes to last year when frenzied bargain-hunters came to blows and people ransacked the aisles in just seconds.
Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall, said there had been a ‘wonderful atmosphere’ at the centre without any of the frenzy seen in other locations in 2014.
He said: “Over the years we have seen many events imported from the US – Trick or Treat for example – but Black Friday really caught the imagination of the shopping public last year and we are seeing sales soaring this year as a result.
“The Black Friday effect began earlier in the week and will continue over this weekend with a further 200,000 shoppers expected over Saturday and Sunday.”
Retailers at The Frenchgate Shopping Centre, in Doncaster, were prepared for a busy day despite many stores starting their sales early.
Laurie Barton Wright, centre manager, said: “We were prepared for a busy day because of the media frenzy in the build-up to Black Friday and were not disappointed as we did indeed welcome a lot of customers on the day.
“Footfall has been steadily increasing at Frenchgate in the last few weeks as people begin their Christmas shopping and in the run-up to Black Friday.
“This week in particular we have seen a gradual increase in footfall as many of our stores including Debenhams began their Christmas offers earlier this week.
“Many of our retailers are continuing their offers over the weekend so we are expecting thousands more customers to bag a bargain in Doncaster.”
Lee Greenwood, manager at Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, in Sheffield said: “Many Crystal Peaks retailers were taking part in Black Friday again this year. We saw a significant increase in footfall but there were no reported problems at all.”
Nationally, Black Friday was set to become the biggest online shopping day in UK history.