There was no repeat of last year’s Black Friday madness at Blackpool supermarkets.
Small crowds were well managed by security staff at Tesco Extra in Marton, which opened at 5am and introduced a staggered queuing system, while Asda in Cherry Tree Road didn’t even take part.
The event – an import from America where bargain-hunters traditionally flock to shops the day after Thanksgiving – saw extra security measures introduced after scenes of mass hysteria and chaos dominated headlines 12 months ago.
One Tesco worker said: “There were people clobbering each other with televisions and we didn’t want that happening again.”
The number of shoppers entering the store at once was restricted to 20, some dressed in pjamas,with each customer given a numbered ticket to prevent disorder.
Extra staff were drafted in to help convert the main entrance area into a bazaar of cut-price gadgets, including laptops, tablets, coffee makers, and pressure washers.
The store, which is usually open 24 hours during the week, had closed at midnight to prepare.
And the 5am opening seemed to have an impact on numbers, with fewer than 100 people waiting outside at 4.55am.
“We’re not actually running Black Friday either, it’s technically a Black Weekend,” the member of staff said.
“And we have enough stock to hopefully last us until Sunday so there was no need for everybody to come out at five in the morning.”
A Tesco spokesman added: “Our Black Friday deals have been really popular with customers both in store and online and our colleagues have done a great job of making the event a success.
“To help our customers save money this Christmas our Black Friday event includes over 200 different products, so customers are able to find something for the whole family.”
“Everything has gone fine. The customers have been very happy and it has all gone very smoothly.”
Down the road at Asda, it was pre-dawn business as usual as night workers continued to quietly stock their shelves.
The American-owned giant said on its website it chose not to take part in Black Friday after listening to its customers, and was instead running a series of offers in the run up to Christmas.
Fat Face in Lytham also took a different approach to Black Friday.
Manager Lee Siddall said: “Instead of discounting we donated. Under our new ‘Thanks for giving’ initiative, we will be donating 10 per cent of our profits to local charities around the country.”
The store, in the Market Square, announced Fylde Community Link, which provides support for people with learning difficulties as its chosen charity.
Fleetwood’s Freeport bosses reported an increase in sales yesterday. A spokesman said: “The larger retailers are reporting that shoppers are spending more than last year.
“The larger retail stores have also said that the average sales are up 50 per cent compared to last Friday.”
Bosses at the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) had called for businesses to step up security and safety measures after paramedics were called out to several Black Friday injuries last year..
Lancashire police also sent out letters to store bosses offering advice about how to manage large crowds.
They reported no major incidents this year.
A NWAS spokesman said: “We are not aware of having to attend any incidents today in relation to Black Friday.”
Meanwhile, police have urged shoppers to remain vigilant when browsing for deals online ahead of Cyber Monday.
A Lancashire police spokesman said: “Black Friday has passed without any officers having to respond to any major incidents involving shoppers. However we would warn online shoppers to follow safety advice.”