An increased number of traders in Portadown are taking part in this weekend’s Black Friday shopping bonanza.
At High Street Mall, around 12 traders will be opening early today (Friday) in what will be the mall’s first experience of the American sales phenomenon.
The first stores will open at 6am, and include Argos, Home Bargains, Intersport, Home Bargains and Holland and Barrett.
Blue Inc will open at 6.30 while Faith Jewellery, Peacocks, The Works and News and More will open at 8.
On the high street, John McMahon of J R McMahon Menswear said the shop had taken on more staff and put on extra offers for the weekend sales, having been “caught by surprise” last year.
He added, “We will have discounts throughout the story from Thursday through to Saturday. Last year was the first year we did it and we were much busier than normal.”
Another menswear retailer, Tom Morrow in Woodhouse Street, will runs its sale on Friday and Saturday, with money off everything across the store.
Safety precautions are also being taken at some of the bigger Tesco stores, including the Extra store at Highfield, to prevent a repeat of last year’s chaotic scenes, in which scuffles broke out over larger items such as TVs.
A Tesco spokesperson said the store will close at 12am and reopen at 5am.
She added that each store had been individually assessed in order to provide them with the level of support they need, including increasing the number of security guards and providing additional barriers/queuing systems.
Meanwhile Toymaster in Portadown, which is also taking part, says it has already been doing “fantastic” trade in the run-up to Christmas.
Owner Jonathan Rogers said trade had been well up since they relocated to their new, High Street store.
“The footfall is very good and we are very pleased. Our Banbridge shop is doing well too.”
Best-selling toys this year are Our Generation dolls, the Segway Board, the Pie Face board game, drones and Lego.