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Singapore shoppers throng stores for Black Friday deals; Queue starts at Robinsons 11am the day before
THE Loh family took to the hard concrete Orchard Road pavement for 20 hours with the aim of purchasing soft, new mattresses for their home.
Mr Gilbert Loh, 54, a freelance coach, who was first in line outside Robinsons Heeren to shop for Black Friday, said his family had been queuing since 11am on Thursday."We took turns to stand in line. It's like free camping in Orchard Road, the biggest struggle is just trying to rest when it's so noisy," he said gesturing to the cars and birds overhead.
By 6.20am on Friday, Mr Loh was joined by at least 150 other shoppers, with the queue to enter the department store snaking around the block.
Other shoppers, who had stayed overnight to ensure they got the best deals on Black Friday morning (Nov 24), came prepared with sleeping bags, sleep masks and inflatable mattresses.
Black Friday, the yearly shopping affair in the United States over the Thanksgiving weekend, has gained traction in Singapore.
Both online and bricks-and-mortar stores are pulling out the stops to attract consumers to their offerings.
Some, like Robinsons, have extended their opening hours with earlier opening hours or later closing times. Make-up retailer Sephora, for example, opened at 9am, an hour earlier on Friday (Nov 24).
Many shoppers whom The Straits Times interviewed said they had taken the day off or time off from work to snag some good buys.
Mr Shing Cham, 34, an art director, took a 1.5 days off and was queuing up at Robinsons from 2pm on Thursday.
He had his eye on the free gifts - two iPhone Xs - which came with minimum S$8,000 purchases.
"Our objective was to get the iPhone and since we also needed new bedding for our new homes, we decided to make it happen today," he said.
His family said that they were intending to take a nap before coming back to queue last night, but one of their cousins had walked past and seen people already in the queue, so they rushed home, grabbed their survival kit and joined the queue.
Their kit included eye masks and inflatable pillows.
"We did train beforehand, with some conditioning. We mostly ran up stairs a few times to prepare," he said.