Black Friday lacks frenzy in Winnipeg

There was no rush of shoppers just as the doors opened to Polo Park Shopping Centre on Friday morning.

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There was no rush of shoppers just as the doors opened to Polo Park Shopping Centre on Friday mornin …

Bargain seekers were out early for Black Friday but there was a distinct lack of frenzy in Winnipeg.

When shoppers were allowed into the city's largest mall, Polo Park Shopping Centre, the store employees vastly outnumbered the shoppers.

Many stores in the city opened earlier than ever, at 7 a.m., hoping to cash in on the Black Friday shopping frenzy that fills stores in the United States with swarms of people, jostling shoulder to shoulder.

Shoppers in the U.S. often set up tents and camp out days before Black Friday. in 2008, a Wal-Mart worker in New York was killed when shoppers smashed through the front doors and trampled him.

The morning of the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday in the U.S. because that is when stores traditionally turn a profit for the year.

In recent years, Canadian retailers have ramped up their efforts to cash in on the event and keep shoppers from crossing the border.

"I was expecting lineups. I thought maybe people had been here for a while," said Leitta Beaudin, who took the day off work to head to Polo Park.

"When we had gone out on Boxing Day there was usually a lot of people in the line."

Mel Magorel also went to Polo Park to catch some sales before going into work. But she wasn't that impressed with Canada's version of Black Friday.

"It's not the same kind of calibre of sales as you see in the States. I mean, our [big shopping day] is Boxing Day so, can we really have two?"

Things were much busier at Toys R Us near the Polo Park mall, where there were some lineups but no hysteria.

"People are saying it's amazing what people will do for the kids, trying to get good deals on the toys," said CBC reporter Meaghan Ketcheson.

"I'm hearing here in Toys R Us that the difference between here and the the American Black Friday, is when people bump into each other here they say 'sorry, sorry, sorry,' which is very distinctly Canadian."


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