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RETAILERS are readying themselves for another record Black Friday despite suggestions of shopper “fatigue” after days of discounting ahead of the main event.

The pre Christmas sales bonanza previously a 24 hour affair that has become the UK’s biggest shopping day has seen most major retailers start their Black Friday deals almost two weeks early with deals on everything from electric toothbrushes to holidays abroad.

They are promising new deals on Friday and many are extending their opening hours, including Tesco opening the “majority” of its Extra stores early at 5am and John Lewis closing some of its stores later than usual.

Experts have pointed to the evolving nature of the event, which has progressed from brawls over cut price televisions to last year’s “muted” high street turnout, with many predicting increased spending online this year.

Retailers will be hoping for an improved performance from their websites, many of which struggled to cope with the volume of traffic last year.

John Lewis,
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whose Black Friday offers last year translated into its biggest week for sales in its 150 year history, said it had prepared for a smooth online experience for shoppers and an “atmosphere of calm” in stores.

John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “Additional staff will be on hand across our 48 shops to ensure the high levels of service our customers expect is maintained.”

British shoppers are expected to spend 2.3ma minute this Black Friday a 19 per centincrease on last year despite warnings that they should “ignore the hype” and exercise caution.

Online spending on Black Friday is expected to reach 1bn, up 16 per centon last year, while it is anticipated that the majority who opt for the High Street will spend a lower total of around 961m.

“With major retailers focusing more on online and mobile channels this year, as well as launching promotions from as early as last week,
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the shape of Black Friday spend is likely to evolve from last year.”