Black Friday conjures up images of huge crowds pushing through shop doors as customers fight over the best bargains.
But when BBC News headed down to the Curry’s PC World on Oxford Street to film the expected onslaught at 7am, they were met with a different scene.
The film crew found themselves capturing dramatic footage of one man walking in alone, smiling politely and thanking the staff for letting him.
The man in Curry’s was only going in to buy his pre-ordered laptop, according a reporter at the scene.
Another man stood at the entrance and started to talk to a member of staff but didn’t seem to enter.
The scene reflects a fall in the number of people clamouring for deals early, with analysis showing this Black Friday was a lot quieter in the early hours than last year.
Overall, sales are down by 2% compared to last year, according to one e-commerce company.
Photographers captured the “carnage” at 8am on London’s busiest shopping street.
In nearby Wardour Street, the GAME store looked completely empty.
People reported the absence of bargain-hunting crowds.
Another BBC reporter was on hand in the Trafford Centre Manchester to report the lack of people - bar one very keen man - waiting to walk in to a store when it opened.
Elsewhere, people were queueing in an orderly fashion to take advantages of deals.
In Tesco in Stockport, police were on hand to deal with any problems but ended up watching as a group of people queued and then calmly walked the store
As Metro reported: “One man was so brazen that he bought two packets of hot dog buns and teacakes along with a lettuce. They were tucked in alongside a 40″ Sharp LED TV.”
PCA Predict, an e-commerce company, analysed the numbers and found a 24% fall in the number of store transactions between midnight and 7am, compared with last year.
By 1pm, the company said sales were down by 2% overall, attributing this to a longer discount period, as retailers offered deals earlier and will continue them later.
PCA Predict’s data:
Britons were expected to spend just under £2.6 billion on Friday – an 8% increase overall on last year – and £7.8 billion over the four-day period including Cyber Monday, up 7% on last year, according to predictions by VoucherCodes and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
But last year an increase in Black Friday sales owed more to online, with a 25% increase in digital transactions but a 5% fall in footfall in shopping centres, compared with 2015, according to PCA Predict.
According courier insurers Staveley Head, 82,000 drivers will be delivering over the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A total of 225 million parcels are expected to be in transit.
In Dunstable this morning, delivery drivers had a quick coffee, standing next to a long line of vans, before a long day of delivering.
Greenpeace warned consumers to remember the environmental impact of products, particularly plastic, on Black Friday.
Tisha Brown, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace UK, told HuffPost: “Even free stuff has a price, and our oceans, forests and wildlife are paying their share of that price, even when you aren’t.”