Police officers were called to shops across the capital today as stampeding shoppers were desperate to bag ‘Black Friday’ bargains.
Met Police officers worked alongside staff in London to ensure shoppers could enter and exit stores safely amid crowd surges.
Metropolitan Police officer Sgt Paul Marshall tweeted: “Even on #BlackFriday shoving people to the floor so you can get £20 off a Coffee Maker is still an assault.”
This is the first time British retailers are fully embracing ‘Black Friday’ promotions, both in store and online, following its huge success in America.
The day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November, is extravagantly promoted in the United States as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
The surge in spending is said to make it the day when retailers finally show a profit for the year, or go into the black.
A survey commissioned by Barclays found that 65% of British retailers that sell both online and in stores planned Black Friday promotions, with customers estimated to spend a whopping £360,000 a minute on credit cards
We took to the streets of South West London to find out your opinions.
Will you going to be going shopping on Black Friday?
Luisa Radvanovic, 24, a waitress from Wimbledon said: “I can’t wait to finish work so I can go shopping.
“I’m a bit scared about all the pushing and shoving but I’m going to take a few friends along so I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
This excited opinion was echoed by Mel Curzon, 33, a teacher from Malden.
She said: “I don’t really why people have an issue with Black Friday.
“If you’re going shopping today then you know what you’re getting yourself in for. What’s not to love about discounts?”
Rijul Kumar, 50, an office worker from Earslfield was in complete agreement and even went as far to say that, in spite of the pushing and shoving, Blac Friday was all just ‘a bit of fun’.
He said “I’m being dragged along by my wife, but I don’t mind!
“It’s a great chance to buy all my Christmas gifts for the family and to treat myself too! Cheap prices are worth the queuing in my opinion.”
Amanda Osman, 37, a stay-at-home mum from Southfields said she felt stores should beef up their security.
She said: “I was really excited about Black Friday until I heard about the lapsed security in shops.
“I’m not sure I’ll be going anymore, it’s just not safe enough and seems a lot more hassle than its worth. Shopping is supposed to be enjoyable.”
Adam Chan, 18, a politics student from Mitcham is in full agreement.
He said: “I think the concept of Black Friday is mad.
“Shops drop their prices but fail to fork out for the necessary security measures. It’s American capitalism gone mad. I won’t be bothering.”
Jenny Elder, 21, a shop assistant from Wimbledon agreed.
She said: “These people getting worked up about Black Friday are embarrassing.
“How desperate for bargains are you? I definitely won’t be going into any shops but I might browse online tonight.”
Picture courtesy of Abd allah Foteih, with thanks.