Shop bosses have mixed views as they prepare for Black Friday rush

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 November 2017

The merits of Black Friday are far from black and white for Romford retailers.

The merits of Black Friday are far from black and white for Romford retailers.

The infamous Friday, which sees shops slash their prices significantly, has an international reputation for sending shoppers into frenzy.

The Recorder spoke to staff from a selection of shops in Romford town centre to get their views ahead of today’s rush.

Kashif Quasi, owner of men’s clothing shop Utter Nutter in South Street, feels that Black Friday places disproportionate pressure on smaller independent retailers.

The 48-year-old said: “It’s artificial. The stock that is brought is made of cheaper quality so that big stores can offer big discounts but retain their profit margins.

“For smaller independent retailers, it is not beneficial for us. The reason we do it is so that we do not lose our customers.

“I feel that we are being hoodwinked.”

Utter Nutter will be offering a selection of items at 20 per cent, including from their Boss and Armani brands, but will not be making any money on these, he stressed.

He founded his clothing shop in Ilford in 1990, eventually moving to Romford where the shop has been based for 20 years.

In contrast, Sheldy Simmans, deputy manager of The Perfume Shop in Liberty Shopping 
Centre, said: “I think it is really good. It is a day people are holding out for to get things are discount prices.”

To cope with the extra customers the Perfume Shop will have extra staff, around seven or eight in total, and people doing extra hours, she added.

Cash Converters, in Western Road, has 30per cent reductions on watches, 20pc reductions on laptops and 40pc on power tools this week until Saturday.

Floor manager Asta Alaseviciute said: “It would be great if it was really only for 
one day.

“But now it continues for weeks so now it’s manic.”

Mac Robertson, honorary treasurer of the Havering Chamber of Commerce, 
said: “It generates some pre-Christmas spending, which is always good.”

Addressing concerns of smaller retailers, he added: “I advise them to go along with it on a smaller scale.

“Perhaps reduce a few items just to introduce some interest.”

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