Shoppers urged to stay local ahead of Black Friday

Shoppers walk past black Friday sale posters in the centre of Cardiff where shops are open and peopl

Black Friday will this year fall on Friday, November 26. - Credit: PA

Norfolk's independent traders, some still battling stock shortages, are encouraging shoppers to stay local as Black Friday approaches.

Black Friday is the name for the Friday after Thanksgiving in America, when many shops offer sales and discounts.

It has travelled overseas, with plenty of big brands across the UK now following suit.

This year, it falls on Friday, November 26 - and while some independent traders here are hoping it will bring a pre-Christmas boost, others are taking a business as usual approach.

Shoppers in Oxford Street, London, on Black Friday.

Black Friday was originally an American tradition which has come to the UK. - Credit: PA

Nationally, the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) said 85pc of independent retailers would not be taking part. 

Others are using it as an opportunity to do good - in north Norfolk, Titchwell Manor is instead taking part in Give Back Friday.

The business, posting online, said: "We'll still be offering you a discount of 10pc off our monetary gift vouchers, but we'll also be donating an additional 10pc of all proceeds to our chosen charity, St Mary's Church in Titchwell."

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Similarly, its Eric's fish and chips brand will be donating its money to the 8:56 Foundation, set up in memory of King's Lynn's Lee Calton.

Eric Snaith, owner of Eric's Fish and Chips which has just opened on Fish Hill in Holt. Picture: Nei

Eric Snaith, of Eric's Fish and Chips. - Credit: Archant

Elsewhere, some businesses are still wrestling with stock shortages.

Ian Cooper, of Cooper and Elms, a family-run electrical retailer in King's Lynn's Tower Street, said it was taking part, but that shortages would have an impact on the discounts available.

"There are some bargains but not as many as usual," he said, "because of the shortages, which is having an impact."

Emma Biggie getting the new shop Flicka ready. Pic: Flicka

Emma Biggie at work at Flicka.

He said this year would be a scaled-back version, but that Black Friday was never a major event in their calendar.

Moya Roseby, of Rags & Bags women's clothing store in Sheringham's Church Street, said their trade was more reliant on loyal customers who visited the shop in person.

Moya Roseby, owner of Rags & Bags in Sheringham. Picture: Danielle Booden

Moya Roseby, owner of Rags & Bags in Sheringham. - Credit: Danielle Booden

And Emma Biggie, who runs baby and nursery interior store Flicka in Norwich's Dove Street, said: "We will run our own sales throughout the year, but we just can't compete [with bigger online retailers].

"We are more of a destination store."

Others are hopping on board - restaurants including Al Dente in Norwich are offering discounted meals, while the Ingham Swan is providing Black Friday discounts on gift vouchers.

Henry Layte of The Book Hive. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Henry Layte of The Book Hive. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Shortages incoming

Henry Layte, of Norwich's Book Hive on London Street, said the team had never marked Black Friday and generally didn't run deals.

He said they hoped instead to trade off a custom service this Christmas - shoppers can hand in forms with details of who they need to buy for, and staff will help them both pick ideal gifts and ensure they are in stock.

But he said he feared the industry was facing an incoming shortage of books - and warned customers to prepare.

"The problem is paper and cardboard is running out," he said. "We are trying to urge people to order books they want earlier.

"We are not feeling it yet but I know it's coming. I don't usually, but I have bulk bought books that I think people will be asking for last-minute." 

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