Campaigners to oppose Black Friday scramble

Black Friday Tesco Blackpool 2014

Black Friday Tesco Blackpool 2014

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A campaign group is calling on consumers to keep their hands in their pockets on what is predicted to be the UK’s biggest shopping day in history.

Buy Nothing Day is an alternative to ‘Black Friday’, which takes place tomorrow and will see some major retailers offer cut-price products. Stores have used the event to help boost pre-Christmas sales, but last year’s Black Friday event saw shoppers in a Blackpool supermarket jostling in a scrum over discounted TVs – attracting criticism when footage was posted online.

The Buy Nothing movement has been set up as a counterpoint in protest against consumerism.

Spokesman Michael Smith comments: “Buy Nothing Day is a counter against Black Friday, which is a relatively new thing that we have imported from America.

“This weekend is normally one of the busiest for the shops but it puts people under a lot of pressure to go out and spend money on things they may not need and make decisions that may be pure impulse.”

The group is calling for people to resist splashing out in the sales as well as avoiding any other purchases for 24 hours.

Michael said: “It’s a real challenge for a lot of people to see if they can abstain from spending for a whole day. It’s about the environmental impact too - the throwaway society that we are.

Retailers including Tesco, Argos and John Lewis will be opening their doors early to shoppers seeking out the bargain of the century, but not everyone will be joining the early morning crowds.

Preston student Tom Hustler said: “Black Friday is another example of American culture creeping into our society and personally I find it annoying and unnecessary.”

LEP reader Jenny Livesey adds: “It’s pathetic that people go to the lengths of fighting over a low-priced telly - get a grip!”

There are some who will be joining the throngs first thing though, with Leyland resident Donna Sladen commenting: “While it is a little chaotic to say the least, I saved a fortune last year.

“It’s an opportunity to get some serious deals.”

Mark Whittle, spokesman for Preston Business Improvement District, said: “The prominence of campaigns like ‘Black Friday’ have seen shoppers encouraged to spend more during these times. The reality is, that overall, spend generally levels out across the festive period, despite the focus on single days.

“We have been pleased by the amount of additional employment that has been created to support retailers, and their customers, during the Christmas period and are confident Preston will flourish.”

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