Early birds hit the shops for Black Friday deals

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At the stroke of midnight, more than 2,700 shoppers rushed into department store Robinsons' outlet in Orchard Road to grab the best Black Friday deals – after queueing up to 18 hours. Who bagged the best bargains?

SINGAPORE - Bargain hunters hit the shops on Friday morning (Nov 23) to take advantage of the Black Friday sale, with some having queued overnight to snap up deals and limited edition items.

Contractor Koh Tzu Yang, 19, took a day off work to be among the first to buy Uniqlo's newest additions to its Kaws x Sesame Street collection of apparel and plush toys.

The second instalment of the limited edition range, a collaboration between New York-based artist Kaws and children's brand Sesame Street, was launched online at midnight on Friday.

To beat the online crowd, Mr Koh headed down to Uniqlo's flagship store at Orchard Central from his home in Punggol to queue the old fashioned way, waiting from as early as 1am.

"I think the toys are cute and I like collectors items. It's a good thing I came early, looking at the queue now," said Mr Koh.

A crowd of about 100 had formed by the time the doors opened at 10.30am, with the Japanese fast fashion brand offering discounts on many of its items.

Over at ION Orchard, personal care and beauty store Sephora, which opened an hour early, at 9am, and is offering a 15 per cent discount on all items, saw a healthy crowd by 9.30am.

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Student Louisa Chan, 21, arrived 10 minutes ahead of the store's opening and spent about $480 on skincare products she had been eyeing.

"The Black Friday discounts are great, they give people something to look forward to," she said.

The annual sale, which originated in the United States, is traditionally held on the Friday after Thanksgiving and has become known for the steep discounts offered by retailers and in-store chaos caused by stampeding shoppers.

Along with the online Singles' Day sale on Nov 11, Black Friday has been gaining traction in Singapore in recent years as shoppers scoop up year-end deals and do their early Christmas shopping.

Mr P. M. Pai, 70, was shopping for a new television at Courts along Orchard Road on Friday morning. The furniture and electronics retailer is offering up to 23 per cent off from today until next Monday (Nov 26).

"My current TV's four years old and I'm looking to upgrade so I came to check out the discounts," said the retiree.

Madam Saadiah Abas, 54, a tourist from Brunei who is in town to attend a wedding, said she stumbled upon the Black Friday sale at BHG in Bugis Junction, where discounts of up to 80 per cent are on offer.

The retiree and her family bought about $200 worth of apparel and jewellery at a 20 per cent discount.

"I didn't know about any Black Friday but we saw the sale and came to shop. It's cheaper than what I would have to pay back home since there's a discount," she said.

Ms Preeti Darshan, who is in her 30s and works in the banking industry, was spotted browsing for mattresses at the Millenia Walk branch of Harvey Norman.

Ms Darshan knows about Black Friday but did not come specifically for the sale.

"I had a day off and I came to look around because I do need a new mattress. I'm not sure if prices are that different during the sale because I've been looking around for mattresses these past few days, and the prices are quite similar," she said.

Free cups of coffee were handed out to shoppers at department store Metro's Paragon outlet, which is offering discounts of up to 90 per cent.

Retiree Gay Tennant, a tourist from Australia on a five-day trip to Singapore, bought a pair of walking shoes from Metro for $28 after a $15 discount.

"I didn't know about the Black Friday sale but I love the shops here, I come once a year at least and get some Christmas shopping done," said Madam Tennant, 80.

Sales manager Lee Siew Lian, 29, made use of her lunch hour to pick up body wash for herself and nail polish for a gift exchange at Marina Square's Watsons.

The store is offering a 20 per cent discount for purchases which hit a minimum of $38. Ms Lee spent $39 after the discount.

She said: "I came specially today because I knew Black Friday sales would be happening so it's a good time to pick up things that I need."

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