This Black Friday will indeed be a buying-bonanza, according to Visa, which expects an impressive £1.91bn to be spent online and in store.
Visa Europe predicts £1.19bn will be spent in shops this Friday, up 20 per cent from 2013, but just a four per cent increase from last year.
Perhaps shoppers will be looking online to avoid the infamous scrums: an estimated £721m will be spent shopping on the web, up 17 per cent form 2014, and 61 per cent from 2013.
Peak shopping hours will be on the commute home, between six and seven o'clock in the evening as people use their mobile phones to shop online, and in-store spending is expected to peak during the lunch hour, one 'til two o'clock.
If that weren't enough, a further £629m will be spent online on Cyber Monday, three days later, which is up 17 per cent from last year.
Visa's managing director for the UK and Ireland, Kevin Jenkins, said:
This is shaping up to be a huge weekend, online and in-store, for retailers. Black Friday’s growth is really coming online – that’s where this year’s surge is going to come from. It’s also firmly become the bigger brother to the more traditional Cyber Monday. The last pay-cheque of the year will still send shoppers online on Monday 30th November though, to the tune of £630m.
Jenkins said the Black Friday phenomenon illustrates Britain’s changing shopping habits: “Ultimately, shoppers have more choice about where and how to buy than ever before. We think in multi-channel terms, browsing on one platform but often buying elsewhere.
“Our research confirms this,” he said, "74 per cent of UK consumers browse online before buying in-store. The opposite is true as well: 40 per cent browse in-store and then buy on mobile. Retailers who capitalise on this trend and offer a seamless experience will likely enjoy a stronger Christmas."