Retailers in Peterborough gear up for Black Friday shopping spree

Marcelo Affonso, general manager at Amazon, Peterborough EMN-151126-162737009
Marcelo Affonso, general manager at Amazon, Peterborough EMN-151126-162737009
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Hundreds of staff at Peterborough-based online retailer Amazon are braced for possibly their busiest day of the year.

More than 2,000 workers at the company’s fulfilment centre will be involved in what is hoped will be a record-breaking day for company.

The impressive scale of the Amazon operation at Peterborough. EMN-151126-162854009

The impressive scale of the Amazon operation at Peterborough. EMN-151126-162854009

General manager Marcelo Affonso said: “This is a critical time for us.”

“We spend all year planning, preparing and investing for this time of year.

“We hope it will be a record year for us but we have no way of knowing how Black Friday will turn out.”

But the online retailing giant at its fulfilment centre at Kingston Park Fletton is leaving nothing to chance.

Millions of products of all types from Kindles to kites, tablets to teaspoons to the must have Xbox One have been stacked on seemingly endless shelving and the ranks of the 800 full-time staff have been swelled by the recruitment of 1,600 seasonal workers.

And an array of tempting discounts are already in place to encourage customers to spend.

While hundreds of staff inside the 550,000 square foot warehouse are busy picking and packing the products for distribution, outside there are queues of HGVs waiting to load or unload.

Mr Affonso said: “The customer experience is everything to us and never more so than at Christmas when those Christmas gifts for loved ones absolutely must arrive on time.

“Customers must receive the right item and it must arrive on time.

“Black Friday is very important and signals the start of the shopping season.”

It will not just be online retailers battling to keep customers happy with hefty discounted goods today.

The shopping phenomenon continues to grow at Peterborough’s Queensgate Shopping Centre as the anticipation of discounts is higher than ever, according to centre management and retailers.

The annual event has seen Queensgate receive more enquiries than ever before from customers wanting to know details of the exclusive discounts.

But most shops are remaining tight lipped.

The big stores such as John Lewis, M&S and Topshop are expected to reveal their offers this morning at 7am.

The centre will be open from 8am to 8pm with free parking after 5.30pm.

Mark Broadhead, centre director, said; “There has never been more excitement around Black Friday than there has been this year.

“The hype and publicity has created a real buzz around Peterborough, which has been fuelled by retailers keeping details of the specifics discounts under their belts.”

He added: “We are expecting a large number of visitors to the centre this year and have brought in additional staff to help with customer enquiries.”

Details of the official offers from retailers will all be revealed on Queensgate’s website and social media channels at 7am on Black Friday morning.

Visit www.queensgate-shopping.co.uk homepage for details of the best deals.