Asda mounts a David Cameron-style retreat from Black Friday

YORKSHIRE-BASED supermarket Asda has done for Black Friday what David Cameron did for Brexit - lighting the blue touch paper and beating a retreat.

Retailers gear up ahead of Black Friday.

The American-owned store is credited with bringing the US shopping phenomenon to Britain five years ago, with one-day offers that led to stampedes in stores.

Black Friday is America’s equivalent of the Boxing Day sales - a rush to the shops in the lull that follows the Thanksgiving holiday. December 26 is not observed as a holiday there.

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Here, despite Thanksgiving not being observed, other retailers followed Asda’s lead - to the point where Black Friday has become an established part of the shopkeepers’ calendar.

But the bad publicity surrounding the stampede for one-off bargains caused Asda to pull out last year - and the store’s Leeds head office has confirmed that it will again not be mounting a Black Friday sale this year.

Media relations director Russell Craig said: “Last year we said that we were stepping away from Black Friday because, as much as we had developed a well organised and executed event the feedback from our customers was clear that they didn’t want the pressure of a ‘flash sale’ and preferred to know we were offering low prices throughout the festive season.”

The firm will instead stage a ‘mannequin challenge’ tomorrow, a reference to the internet craze for standing statue-like.

Mr Craig said: “There are only so many ways you can make that message interesting for people – so we decided to have a bit of fun this year and get some of our colleagues involved in a mannequin challenge that we hope will both amuse and inform.”