Rotterdam’s city center got so busy on Friday evening that the Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, decided to close all the shops prematurely. The municipality says that this was done in consultation with the shop owners.

As it was Black Friday, the discount deals led to a significant surge in crowds in the shopping district of Rotterdam. The municipality tweeted that “everyone is urged to leave the city center.”

Aboutaleb tells NOS that it was “confusing and dramatically busy”. “Calls not to come to the city have not helped. Traffic regulations have also not helped,” he says.

The city deployed extra police and agents approached shoppers and asked them to leave the area. Caution will remain high over the weekend as Black Friday sales continue. On Saturday, shops will be required to close at 5.00 p.m. Only supermarkets will be allowed to remain open until 8.00 p.m.


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