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Shrewsbury Shopping Centre, Christmas

Shops gear up for Christmas rush

Shops in Shrewsbury's busy shopping centres are gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year so far - Black Friday - with over 70 Christmas temps taken on. Retailers are bringing in extra staff and unveiling a host of offers ready for the expected avalanche of shoppers as footfall goes through the roof on Friday 27th November.

That's when the last paycheque before Christmas hits bank accounts, sparking a frenzy of shopping with retailers offering lots of bargains too.

New Look in the Pride Hill Shopping Centre had a bumper time last Black Friday when the demand and the crowds took many retailers by surprise and Sales Manager Liz Jamieson said: "It was amazing last year and we did really well - our sales were up by 66 per cent on the day and over the whole weekend as well.

"We took more that weekend than we did in the whole of half-term week which is usually a busy time too.

"We've got extra staff in and a lot of our Christmas temps will be on duty so it will be a really good experience for them. It's in at the deep end for them but I'm sure they'll love it.

"We're expecting to be really busy again and we've got some great offers of up to 50 per cent off and we do sell a lot of party wear at this time of year and our Petite ranges are also very successful."

Up the road at River Island in the Darwin Shopping Centre Men's Sales Manager Matt Spencer said: "It was a massive success last year and we didn't really do anything special but we're making a really big effort this time and we'll have plenty of offers.

"Clothing stores hadn't really been hit by it before but we'll have extra staff this time round and our ladies dresses will be flying out that day and I expect men's coats to be a big seller too."

Pandora are also geared up for a busy day and have introduced a special Black Friday bracelet at £99, compared to their usual £125 starter bracelet.

Manager Charlotte Ridgway said: "We're expecting a lot of shoppers during the day and if they're still about, then we will stay open later to make sure we meet with demand.

"We've done a lot of recruiting of Christmas temps and we're expecting a busy run up to Christmas."

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: "The lead up to Christmas has been growing and we're looking forward to Friday and expecting a busy day ahead of a busy weekend.

"We had very good reports from the retailers last year which was the first time it really took off and I think they may even have been taken by surprise by it. We are opening 8am to 8pm on Black Friday to assist shoppers with their special purchases."