SPANISH Fashion chain Zara is to open its major new store at the Westgate Centre in time to boost sales on Black Friday.

The American sales tradition has in some parts of the UK seen shoppers scrambling over each other to get to the best bargains.

Zara at the Westgate is aiming to open to customers on Thursday, November 22, in good time for Black Friday the following day.

The 39,500sq ft store spans three storeys in the North Arcade of the centre, close to the Bonn Square entrance.

At the same time the fashion retailer will move out of its current store in the Clarendon Centre, with staff relocating to the Westgate.

It will join brands like Uniqlo, H&M and Superdry in the revamped 800,000 sq ft complex, which opened with 100 new stores and a John Lewis in October last year.

A member of staff at Zara said: “We want to open on November 22 because then we will be in good time for Black Friday.

“We don’t know yet which products will be on promotion and any sales will start in the run-up to Christmas.

“Opening just before Black Friday will be a great way to launch the new store - staff are aiming for that.”

Zara spokeswoman Julia Gambarini confirmed the chain was opening its Westgate store at the end of this month but did not provide a precise date.

Zara is part of Inditex, the biggest fashion group in the world, which operates over 7,200 stores in 93 markets worldwide.

Barcelona-based fashion chain Mango will open its new store next door to Zara at the Westgate Centre but an opening date has not yet been revealed.

American chain Urban Outfitters is also due to open a store at Westgate in the near future.

Units at Westgate Oxford are now about 95 per cent let.

The £440m complex celebrated its first anniversary on October 24, attracting 19 million shoppers in its first year.

Black Friday is the informal name for the day following Thanksgiving in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November.

This has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952.

However, the term Black Friday did not become widely recognised or used until the early 2000s.

Discount clothing chain TK Maxx will take the place of Zara at the Clarendon Centre and is on schedule to open in spring.

Westgate Oxford spokeswoman Juliette Bains said the Westgate would open for an extra hour on Black Friday, with individual stores staging promotions.