POLICE were called to supermarkets across the country yesterday to control crowds of wildly enthusiastic bargain hunters making the most of Black Friday.
Shoppers gathered at Tesco Extra supermarkets in Glasgow and Dundee, ahead of the sale which began at midnight.
Staff at the Silverburn store in Glasgow called police after a fight broke out among customers over discounted goods. Officers were also summoned to the Kingsway West store in Dundee as shoppers jostled for bargains.
The Tesco Extra in Dundee was forced to shut just after midnight and did not re-open until 5am.
Tesco took the decision to close, however police confirmed there were no arrests. Elsewhere police were called to supermarkets in London, Manchester and Cardiff.
One customer, Sarah Coubrough tweeted: “Silverburn shut ‘cos shoppers going mental with the sales. Think I’ll stick to the online shopping today.”
Black Friday was originally a discounting day in the United States, coming immediately after the Thanksgiving Day holiday but has now become a key date in British retail in the run-up to Christmas.
Tesco said: “In the interest of customer safety some of our stores in Scotland contacted police to help control crowds safely.
“We are extremely grateful to Police Scotland and the stores are now trading normally.”
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Carphone Warehouse, Currys PC World and Game all carried special promotions yesterday, while Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer also offered discounts.
Barry Blamire, head of branch at John Lewis, Edinburgh said his staff had been prepared for the rush.
Analysts said this year was the biggest Black Friday sale yet, with more people aware of the bonanza since Amazon started promoting it in the UK four years ago. The Currys PC World Megastore at Braehead, in Glasgow, said yesterday was busier than the usual Boxing Day rush. Hundreds of people queued long before the store opened at 8am – two hours earlier than normal.
Shoppers made a dash through the doors to gets their hands on bargains, with televisions, iPads and games consoles the most popular choice.
Asda said they had over two million customers across the country yesterday with shoppers queueing outside stores at 3am.
The supermarket giant confirmed they had sold over 8,000 televisions in the first hour and 3,500 Beats by Dre headphones had gone by 9am.
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