Stores are upping the ante for Black Friday, the sales extravaganza that begins today.
The yearly US shopping affair has gained traction in Singapore, and both online and bricks-and-mortar stores are pulling out the stops to attract consumers to their offerings.
Country chief executive of Courts Singapore Ben Tan said: "Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year and a great platform to offer shoppers and bargain hunters unbeatable deals in both the online and offline space.
"This year, our Black Friday promises to be bigger and better with discounts ranging between 12 per cent and 90 per cent off the recommended retail price, across IT, electrical and furniture products, and we plan for this annual sales event months ahead as an integral part of our retail calendar."
Courts began participating in Black Friday in Singapore in 2013, and signs for the event went up at its Tampines megastore yesterday.
Other stores are lengthening their operating hours to give customers more time to shop and spend. All Robinsons stores will open at 7am today and close at 1am, instead of the usual 10.30am to 10pm.
When Robinsons opened at 7am last Black Friday, queues had already formed outside its store at The Heeren before dawn. Robinsons said then that the turnout was "overwhelming".
Special local Black Friday deals
Thousands of products go on sale on Black Friday, and here is a Straits Times sampling of the many deals that customers can enjoy.
Robinsons is offering an Apple iPhone 8 Plus (256GB) with a minimum spend of $6,000 storewide.
Online shoppers can expect more than 100 deals starting from $1.
Harvey Norman has hundreds of offers, such as a Philips air fryer and blender package that costs $329 instead of $539.
An Indesit washer-dryer with a 9kg/6kg capacity is selling for $899 instead of $1,698, a discount of 47 per cent. Black Friday takes place only on its website though.
WING TAI RETAIL
Brands such as Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins will see discounts of up to 50 per cent, while G2000 customers can enjoy discounts of 30 per cent off a minimum of two clothing items.
This year, Robinsons' offers will last until Sunday, though the stores will resume their normal operating hours tomorrow.
Some retailers are extending their sales periods. For example, a Wing Tai Retail spokesman said: "Following overwhelming response to our offers last year, we are extending our main sale from two days to four days - so, from Thursday to Sunday."
Wing Tai's brands here include G2000, Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins, and the spokesman added that this year, Fox Kids and Baby will enter the fray for the first time.
Other industry players are expanding their Black Friday discounts to the offline space.
Harvey Norman, for instance, has lined up hundreds of offers across its departments at all its bricks-and-mortar stores, in addition to its website.
Some, however, are choosing to limit their promotions to their websites despite having physical stores.
Pure e-commerce players want a slice of the pie too, with retailers such as Qoo10, Lazada and Beauty Carousel making more products available for the promotional sales period. Ms Cindy Leong, assistant manager of sales and marketing at Beauty Carousel, said: "We have expanded the categories for the Liberta Armpit Care Range, now covering all needs from head to toe."
However, not everyone is taking part in the sales frenzy, such as furniture giant Ikea.
An Ikea spokesman said: "Low prices have always been a part of the Ikea offer and we aim to provide a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products that are affordable to as many people as possible."
He explained that the store constantly strives to reduce prices yearly. "This way, we are able to offer low prices all year long, and will not participate in one-off discount events."
For those looking to snag the best Black Friday deals, the Wing Tai Retail spokesman had this advice: "Shop early. Very often, you get the best selection and offers on the first day of the sale."
Beauty Carousel's Ms Leong went further, saying: "We recommend that consumers act fast to secure their purchases as products may sell out within seconds."