Retailers aimed to keep shoppers in Manitoba Nov. 23, opening doors early and offering up a range of sales to counter the U.S. appeal of Black Friday deals.

“It was really just to get a competitive edge over people going to the U.S. for Black Friday,” said Deborah Green, general manager at Polo Park Shopping Centre.

Brian Hogue cancelled a trip to the U.S. because of poor weather, and said he was happy with deals he then found in Winnipeg.

“Retailers are catching on. It’s great. The more you can keep it in Canada, (the) better for all of us,” he said.

Other shoppers said the bargains exceeded their expectations.

“I was expecting to go into stores and see 20 to 30 per cent off, but it’s like 60 to 70 per cent off buy one get one free. It’s phenomenal,” said Megan Halwachs, a Black Friday shopper.

The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce said part of the reason for Black Friday success developing in Canada is that some big-name retailers who previously only had U.S. locations have expanded into the Canadian market..

Some experts say, however, that Canadians will still find many cheaper prices south of the border.

 “Canada is one tenth the size of the U.S. market, but part of that is distributors have the ability to charge a higher price to Canadians and unfortunately that's what happens,” said Lanny McInnes from the Retail Council of Canada.

Shoppers who spoke to CTV Winnipeg on Friday said they were still pleased with the sales in Manitoba.