Nov 29, 2013

By Scott Walker

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The Black Friday Frenzy began early this year.

Many US retailers jumped the gun on the busiest shopping day of the year by opening their doors last night. And the stores were packed, with long line-ups, frayed nerves, and some short tempers. Police had to be called to one Walmart location to break up battling bargain-hunters.

Here in Canada, retailers are increasingly jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon. The Eaton Centre opened at 6:00 this morning, and other malls were also offering early openings. Eaton Centre marketing director Meredith Vlitas says we’ll see more Canadian retailers embracing Black Friday. She says it will become a “cost of doing business” for most stores.

Last year the Eaton Centre saw a 22 per cent increase in traffic because of its Black Friday promotion, with 220,000 people hitting the stores. As a result, the centre’s owner, Cadillac Fairview, has expanded the promotion to its malls right across the country.

Today is called “Black Friday” because it’s the day retailers pay off all of their costs for the year and begin to make a profit.

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