IT’S an American tradition that’s made its way across the pond.
And this year it will be hard to avoid – Black Friday in the Portsmouth area.
We are expecting it to be very busyMike Taylor, Fareham Shopping Centre
Retailers open their doors early to give shoppers a chance to bag a bargain.
The focus is often supermarkets selling electrical goods at bargain basement prices.
In Portsmouth, the Tesco Extra stores in Fratton, North Harbour and Havant will close at midnight and re-open at 5am on Friday as retailers prepare to mark the event.
A spokesman for Tesco said: ‘Our Black Friday event was incredibly popular last year so to ensure colleagues have enough time to set up for the event this year, we will be closing all participating stores at 12am and reopening them at 5am. This change will allow us to provide the best possible service to help our customers.’
Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth will open at 8am, with some stores choosing to stay open until 8pm.
Gunwharf Quays is opening an hour earlier at 9am as many retailers will have special offers.
The event starts on Thursday evening with shops open until 9pm.
Yvonne Clay, senior marketing manager at Gunwharf, said: ‘Last year we were fairly busy but we didn’t see the madness of other centres which is something we want to avoid.
‘We are hoping our customers can come along and enjoy some Christmas shopping and secure some bargains.’
Fareham Shopping Centre is opening an hour earlier at 8am and is expected to remain open later.
Centre manager Mike Taylor said: ‘As Black Friday is still fairly new, it’s difficult to know how busy it’s going to be.
‘We are expecting some huge discounts from many of the retailers.
‘We’re expecting it to be very busy. Its popularity has continued to grow year on year.
‘While we are expecting it to be busy we aren’t expecting crowds going out of the shopping centre.
‘It’s a great opportunity for customers to get fantastic deals in the run up to Christmas.
‘That’s why it works so well.’
Morrisons is spreading its Black Friday deals over a five-day period.
Sainsbury’s has special offers throughout the following weekend but opening times will remain the same.
Asda, which has previously led the Black Friday phenomenon, is not participating this year and is instead having special offers over the Christmas period.
Facts on Black Friday here