BLACK Friday bargain-hunters are set to throng Capital streets today as amid an appeal for calm in the shopping aisles.
Imported from the US, Black Friday is traditionally the most hectic shopping day in America and held the first Friday after Thanksgiving.
The concept has been adopted by shops in the UK as a boost to November trading.
With an unprecedented number of retailers taking part in this year’s deal frenzy, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers called on shoppers to keep their cool.
“With overcrowded shops and highly excited customers, sometimes tempers flare and things can get out of control,” said secretary John Hannett.
“Retail staff are trained to provide a good shopping experience, but that can be difficult if people are aggressive.”
According to industry experts, it marks the first day in the financial year when retailers move out of the financial red zone and into the black.
Most offers were set to slash costs on electrical goods such as TVs, tablets, kitchen gadgets and audio hardware.
Carphone Warehouse, Currys PC World and Game are promising special promotions while Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer are also offering price drops.
Barry Blamire, head of branch at John Lewis Edinburgh, said his staff have been ready for the anticipated rush.
“We have carefully planned for this year’s Black Friday. We are opening at 8am and have more staff in place to support customer demand,” he said.
Liam Smith, centre manager at Fort Kinnaird, said it marked the launch of the Christmas shopping rush.
“It is pay weekend for many people and with stores offering exclusive discounts to tie in with the Black Friday date we expect to be significantly more busy,” he said.
“Our retailers are set for a footfall boost of ten per cent this week and this is likely to continue throughout December.”
Analysts claim this year is likely to see the biggest Black Friday sales yet with more people aware of the bonanza since Amazon brought it to the UK shores four years ago.
Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said the success of November for many of the city’s biggest retailers hinged on the next 24 hours.
“It’s still a bit of a new phenomenon here but I know it can have a massive impact on certain retailers,” he said.
“Clearly there is enough business involved in it for a number of the big players to be very focused on it. It is interesting that one day has the ability to influence a whole month’s performance and that depending on how Black Friday goes, it could make or break the month for them.”