Crowds queued for hours early in the morning to grab Black Friday bargains on the biggest day of the discount calendar. 

The promotional event – which originated in America – has now firmly embedded itself in the Maltese market, with some companies turning the day into a week-long event.

Shoppers grabbing 'Black Friday' bargains early this morning

People gathered outside electronic stores such as Scan in Birkirkara for more than two hours before it opened, while dozens more stood behind steel barriers outside Forestals to grab a good deal.

 “People began queuing from 6am and our doors opened at 8am. Most were getting around 30 or 40 per cent discounts on a PlayStation or TV," employee Alfred Borg said.

Evelyn Brincat from Floriana was among the early birds and quite happy with her 20 per cent discount on a blender, which she queued for an hour to get.

“I plan to come back later tonight with my son to pick up a Nintendo Switch for my granddaughter.” 

Veteran Black Friday shoppers such as Maria Vella from Fgura praised the hard work of the staff.

“I came specifically for the good prices and got a two-in-one washing machine and dryer for 70 per cent off. Last year it was very hectic, so I wasn’t sure if I would return, but today was much better organised as they kept most of the people outside so that those indoors could shop in peace.” 

Another happy customer, Christopher Muscat from Żebbuġ, saved €100 on a Roomba. “We came last year when there was no queue, but this year we came early because we knew what we wanted," he said.

Long queues outside Birkirkara for 'Black Friday' this morningLong queues outside Birkirkara for 'Black Friday' this morning

Social media was also maxed out, with the hashtag #blackfridaymalta on Instagram guiding people to deals on everything from gifts for pets, to something called “ultrasound fat cavitation”. 

The Police and Transport Malta were working with local councils to arrange extra parking ahead of the busier than usual traffic.

The skies are also expected to be fuller in the coming months, with Air Malta and Ryanair using Black Friday to offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on some routes. 

Welcoming the event, Malta’s Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (GRTU) CEO Abigail Mamo said: “People are responding to business offers on the most important shopping day."

'Alternative Black Friday'

But the day has also created a backlash from environmental groups, who are urging people to opt for an ‘Alternative Black Friday.’

Organisations such as Fashion Revolution and Friends of the Earth Malta have condemned the over-consumption and waste that surrounds the discount day, asking people to instead to mend something they already have or donate money to charity. 

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