Black Friday spending has risen 12.5 per cent on 2018’s total, Barclaycard said today.
Spending was higher as of 10am this morning and “sustained” that high level throughout the day.
The bank said the number of transactions then reached a “new peak” between 1pm and 2pm on Black Friday.
“We recorded a new peak of 1,184 transactions per second between 1pm and 2pm, which is up on last year’s 1,087 by around nine per cent,” Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments told City A.M.
“The volume of transactions has been up all week and in terms of purchasing, we have seen a high level on spending from midnight all the way through.”
Barclays, which has been monitoring real-time transaction data for Black Friday, processes almost £1 in every £3 spent in the UK.
Retailers have also had a strong week according to Barclaycard’s transaction data, with many beginning Black Friday sales early.
“This is fantastic news for retailers, with our data showing that transactions have also been strong throughout the week,” says Cameron.
“With many retailers spreading their deals out throughout the week, they will be encouraged to see this hasn’t cannibalised sales volumes on Black Friday itself.”
However, Barclays have warned consumers to be aware of potential scams over this weekend and ahead of the festive season.
“Consumers should be aware that if a deal looks too good to be true, it might well be,” says Cameron. “We enourage them to look a reviews and double check especially for electronics if it is the version they are expecting – or is it an older version.
“Make sure you are buying what you expect not a two year model, for example. Tech moves on and it would be worth a lot less now. Don’t get tricked,” he adds.
“Also look at delivery times if you are buying online. If it is coming from another country, the delivery times may be a lot longer than expected.”
This year’s total spend across the Black Friday weekend is forecast to be the highest ever despite the continuing Brexit saga and upcoming general election.
A report from the Centre for Retail Research commissioned by vouchercodes.co.uk is expecting spending to increase by 3.4 per cent this year to £8.75bn.
More than £2.5bn will be spent today, according to the report, with an average of £2.48m being spent every single minute.
It is more than every other European country including France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
However the increase in Black Friday sales comes amid a backdrop of disgruntled employees, with those working at Amazon warehouses striking.
Amazon employees are staging walkouts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a row over the “appalling” treatment of workers.
The GMB union said 100s of workers would strike across the UK at multiple sites, including the head office in Shoreditch.
However a spokesperson for Amazon denied that many would be involved, saying it would occur at four sites and that only 30 “external pro-union people”.
“They’re making false claims to try and drum up membership subscriptions and failing to do that,” they said.
City A.M. went on a tour of Amazon’s Tilbury warehouse to assess the working conditions ahead of Black Friday.