BLACK Friday provides the perfect opportunity for retailers to promote their brands and push their products, say Brunel Centre bosses.

The biggest sales day of the year is almost upon us as shoppers prepare to hit the high street tomorrow for Black Friday.

Footfall is declining in shopping centres all over the country, but retailers in Swindon show they are capable of innovating and adapting to the changing times, says Kevin Gwilliam, general manager of the Brunel Centre.

Kevin said: “Black Friday is a good opportunity for retailers to promote themselves and clear their stock.

“The autumn has been quite mild, so fashion retailers in particular have a lot of things left over that haven’t sold as well as they might otherwise have done.”

Examining how retailers have confronted this year’s challenges, he said he felt they were holding back a little, keeping their cards close to their chests and weighing up the competition before revealing their Black Friday sales strategies.

The internet, he said, continues to affect trade and retailers are constantly looking at new ways of doing things.

Speaking about the opportunities presented by the opening of The Crossing, the Brunel Centre’s new food court, in the weeks before Christmas, Kevin said: “We have created this food hub as a way of bringing more people into the centre by offering something a little bit different.

“Food retailers are using Black Friday as a marketing opportunity too, which shows how the sales day has adapted to demand over the years.”

The monster shopping event, which started in the US, is a major date in the UK’s shopping calendar as people snap up bargains in preparation for Christmas.

But Black Friday has, according to Kevin, calmed down somewhat in recent years, with fewer scenes reminiscent of the marauding hordes we saw breaking down doors desperate to bag a bargain.

He said: “We are not expecting it to be any busier than our usual sales periods.

“But we feel we are making very big strides as a shopping centre.”