PRINCES street was packed for the Black Friday shopping extravaganza yesterday – despite the cold temperatures and pouring rain.
Families were huddled together, with their hoods and umbrellas sheltering them as they eyed the bargains and carryied packed shopping bags.
Shoppers used the American phenomemon – which was introduced to the UK a few years ago – to snap up deals ahead of Christmas.
Shopper David Callen, 48, said: “Today’s been great, we’ve bought everything from a Christmas tree to duvet covers, for half the price they were supposed to be.
“We even got some jackets for £10 out of Primark.
“It’s been busy but it’s been a great day.”
But Martin Vasey, 27, from Musselburgh, who used his day off work to do his Christmas shopping, was not too impressed by the hype surrounding the event.
“I’m really annoyed because today is the only day I have to get shopping done and it’s just so busy.
“I didn’t even realise it was Black Friday until today.
“I hate it but I have to get my shopping done.”
Meanwhile, online purchases appeared to surge across the UK during the sales as more consumers shunned standing in queues to buy cut-price goods.
Consultants Experian and retail group IMRG said that online sales in the UK were on course to pass £1 billion on a single day for the first time.
Last year’s Black Friday saw shoppers across the nation fighting over bargains, websites crashing and delivery companies struggling to cope with demand.
The discount day, which takes place the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, traditionally kickstarts the Christmas shopping period.
Shopping centres and stores across Scotland experienced a slow start to the day, in contrast to the scenes of chaos on the same day last year.
Patient customers and minimal queuing replaced the hostile crowds witnessed in some Scottish shops in 2014, when some bargain hunters wore pyjamas and dressing gowns. People yesterday queued for more than an hour at Tesco Extra in Silverburn, Glasgow, which had closed between midnight and 5am in preparation for Black Friday.
Staff gave out tickets on arrival and allowed just 10 people in at a time to avoid any disturbances. In 2014 hundreds of shoppers descended on the same store at once, and it had to be closed amid chaotic scenes.
A police car patrolled the surrounding area in case of a repeat of last year’s scenes.
On this occasion, the queue had disappeared within half an hour, although one casual customer who arrived at 4.55am complained that he was not able to buy a pint of milk due to the wait.
The most popular items included TVs and appliances.