Hartlepool shoppers keen to bag a bargain seemed to be doing it online this Black Friday.
Last year saw a frenzy of people bustling for the best bargains in the town, with some even queuing overnight to get what they wanted.
However, it was a different story this year and it was business as usual at many stores in the town.
Retailers made cut-price deals available online from midnight and many shops changed their opening hours to offer customers more time to snap up discounted stock, ranging from televisions to toothbrushes.
But, there were no signs of big crowds at the shops themselves, although it was estimated there would be a £1billion of sales in online shopping across the country.
It was totally different to last year.Alison Morrow
Among the businesses taking part was Tesco, which opened its Extra stores at 5am, they had installed queuing systems and assured shoppers there would be enough security and stock following scuffles over limited numbers of items last year.
But, Alison Morrow, duty manager at Tesco in Hartlepool, said the morning was very quite with shoppers going about their usual business.
She said: “It was totally different to last year. It was mostly trading as usual.”
Alison confimed that online sales has seen a significant rise.
She added that it was very quiet when the store first opened, then there was a small flurry of customers in the morning, before it tailed off to normal daily trading.
The duty manager said people were mostly after the Black Friday deals on electrical items.
The story appears to be the same nationally. Ebay expected nine million Britons to visit its website.
Among the main retailers taking part in the Black Friday event, were Argos, Currys PC World and AO.com, all offering hundreds of pounds off selected items, while John Lewis had promised to honour its Never Knowingly Undersold pledge and match competitors’ prices.