[WATCH] Black Friday buying spree sees people sleeping outside shops

Some people have slept outside major shopping outlets to be first in line for the Black Friday shopping spree as they try to secure pre-Christmas deals

Some people queuing outside the Forestals establishment in Mriehel slept overnight to be first in line
Some people queuing outside the Forestals establishment in Mriehel slept overnight to be first in line
Black Friday is an American import that has taken off in Malta

It is an American import but Black Friday has taken off big time with some people opting to sleep outside major retail outlets to cash-in on good deals, as MaltaToday found out.

Long queues could be seen outside Forestsals in Mriehel and Scan in Birkirkara, long before their scheduled opening times of 8am and 9am, respectively. 

Anthony told MaltaToday he was after a vacuum cleaner and a smart TV and that he had been waiting in line in front of Forestals since 4.15am. “I was amazed that there were already people here,” he said. “Someone told me he and his wife got here at 1am.”

With a policewoman present, the line was orderly and the expectant customers were upbeat, despite the long wait and chilly early morning weather.

Black Friday is a US tradition that sees Americans go on a spending spree the day following their biggest holiday - Thanksgiving. But the tradition appears to have taken off in other western countries and Malta is not an exception.

Many outlets and businesses chose to offer large discounts today, hoping to attract crowds to their stores with some early Christmas deals.

Crosscraft in Santa Venera opted for an even earlier opening time at 6am
Crosscraft in Santa Venera opted for an even earlier opening time at 6am

Some outlets opted for an even earlier than normal opening time. Crosscraft in Santa Venera opening at 6am and there too a small crowd gathered just before opening time to make sure they got the appliance they were after.

Robert, the company owner, told MaltaToday that his reasoning for opening at 6am was twofold: “This way people were able to enjoy our Black Friday offers without having to take a day off work. But I must admit it was also something of a marketing strategy and we were the only ones who advertised opening early.”

Whatever the reason was, it appeared to have worked as one happy customer after another made their way home with their gifts at that ungodly hour. 

The Scan outlet anticipated its opening time as customers queued outside the Birkirkara outlet for tech items
The Scan outlet anticipated its opening time as customers queued outside the Birkirkara outlet for tech items

In Birkirkara, the management of Scan took pity upon the people waiting in line outside their the store and opened their doors earlier than scheduled. 

People here were mostly after tech stuff, including laptops, tablets and peripherals. 

Whichever the store, people appeared to be extremely satisfied with the discounts offered and the service given.

Like Halloween, Black Friday is another American practice that has been embraced by the Maltese and seems destined to stay, becoming bigger and better every year.

'Black Friday starts with a bang' - GRTU

In a statement, the Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU) said it had received positive feedback from all over Malta and Gozo. "People started queuing very early with one individual queuing since 11pm yesterday."

It said that though customers were "numerous" businesses had handled the situation well by "redeploying employees from the office to assist customers" adding that this was "easing the flow".

"Although it is too early to compare this Black Friday with last year's, it is already very evident that there is a positive trend," GRTU said.

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