Singapore shoppers join Black Friday fiesta

VIDEO: JAY SINGH
Courts' Black Friday sale covered all 14 outlets, including Courts Orchard (above), as well as its online store. The furniture chain also introduced a priority pass this year that let 280 pre-registered shoppers skip the queue. Shoppers at the Robins
Shoppers at the Robinsons store at The Heeren yesterday. While this is the third year the retail chain is holding a Black Friday sale, this is the first time it brought forward its opening time to 7am from the usual 10.30am. Long queues started forming at its Heeren outlet as early as 6am.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Some retailers here offer discounts of up to 80% as they take part in annual sales tradition that began in the US

Shoppers stood in line even before the sun rose yesterday to take advantage of department store Robinsons' Black Friday sale.

At 6am, an hour before doors opened, long queues were spotted outside its store at The Heeren.

Robinsons, which was taking part in Black Friday for the third time, had slashed prices by up to 80 per cent for the sale.

For the first time since 2014, when it first participated in Black Friday, the department store also brought forward its opening time to 7am instead of the usual 10.30am.

Retailers in Singapore have jumped onto the Black Friday bandwagon, hoping it would give their business a boost amid a lacklustre retail landscape.

 

Retail sales, excluding motor vehicles, have fallen every month since February this year, with the latest government data estimating a fall of 1.9 per cent in September over the same period last year. Sales last year fell 1.2 per cent over 2014.

Black Friday, said to have been coined to describe the day retailers turned in profits and went "in the black", takes place the day after the United States Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November.

Furniture retailer Courts offered the Courts Black Friday Priority Pass for the first time this year, which lets 280 shoppers who have pre-registered skip the queue and get access to exclusive discounts. The chain offered deals of up to 80 per cent off at all its 14 outlets here, as well as on its online store.

Courts' Black Friday sale covered all 14 outlets, including Courts Orchard (above), as well as its online store. The furniture chain also introduced a priority pass this year that let 280 pre-registered shoppers skip the queue. Shoppers at the Robins
Courts' Black Friday sale covered all 14 outlets, including Courts Orchard (above), as well as its online store. The furniture chain also introduced a priority pass this year that let 280 pre-registered shoppers skip the queue. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Other brick-and-mortar stores such as Sephora, Harvey Norman and Topshop also took part this year.

And the Black Friday buzz in the morning did not abate later in the day. Early yesterday evening, scores of people were still spotted thronging stores holding Black Friday sales.

One of them was bank executive Charmaine Fong, 27, who was at the Robinsons store at The Heeren to cash in on discounts for items such as bedsheets and pillows.

She was there with her partner, Mr Tong Jun Jie, 27, an engineer, and said that they bought the items for their new home, which they are moving into next year.

Ms Fong, who spent about $1,000, said: "I saw an advertisement about the sales and decided to come down. We saved hundreds of dollars."

Further down, at Courts' Orchard outlet, there were sales of 20 per cent to 80 per cent for different kinds of items.

Ms Lily Lee, 23, who works in the finance sector, said she had waited for the sale to buy a hair straightener. "I was looking for a hair straightener for myself for about three months, but it was expensive. So I waited for the festive sales period."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore shoppers join Black Friday fiesta'. Print Edition | Subscribe