Amazon workers in Peterborough poised for Black Friday rush as shoppers seek out top deals
Hundreds of workers at Amazon's fulfilment centre in Peterborough are braced for the UK's busiest shopping day of the year.
Up to 2,000 staff at the Amazon fulfilment centre at Kingston Park have been working around the clock for days to prepare for Black Friday.
It has become the biggest shopping date in the UK calendar as millions of shoppers take advantage of a range of cut price deals.
Amazon Peterborough site leader Victor Pulido said: "We are all geared-up for Black Friday sales.
"We have been dealing with this year’s week-long version of the sale since November 22."
But Mr Pulido said that despite the online offers having started early this year, there was still an expectation that Black Friday will be extra busy.
He said: “There have been some great offers on a wide range of products already.
"But I do expect we’ll see even more great deals for our customers and therefore even more orders on Black Friday itself.
"The entire team at Peterborough is ready to take care of all our customer orders.”
The Peterborough fulfilment centre is 550,000 sq ft – the equivalent of seven football pitches – in size and holds millions of different products ranging from DVDs to books to mobile phones and anything else in between - the only common factor in the range is that all the items are smaller than a Monopoly board.
There are more than a 1,000 permanent roles on site and the same number of seasonal positions to deal with the increase in demand this time of year.
Mr Pulido added: "Despite the busy environment, the team at Peterborough is one of the most fun and talented groups of people I’ve ever worked with and do some great work – and put a lot of effort into some festive season-themed fun as well.
"There’ll be plenty of music, competitions, giveaways and food treats!”
Last year, globally, Amazon customers purchased more than two million items. Some of the most popular sale items included the Echo Dot, Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, LEGO Marvel Avengers and Waterpik Professional Water Flosser.
But the Black Friday rush, which will take in most retailers across Peterborough, has sparked a warning from union leaders about the way customers treat shop assistants.
Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shopworkers union, Usdaw, said: “Our members have had real concerns about Black Friday.
"After two years of unprecedented scenes of mayhem in some stores, as bargain hunting turned into frenzy, we discussed safety issues with retailers.
"Consequently recent years have been quieter and more respectful, but we continue to monitor the situation.
“Around 400 retail staff are violently attacked every day, with many more threatened and verbally abused. It is time to say enough is enough.
“My Black Friday message to shoppers is clear. Enjoy your bargain hunting, keep your cool and respect shopworkers.”