Shoppers in the UK spent heavily on Black Friday this year, as data from banks and card operators showed it was Brits’ biggest-ever sales day, placing the nation on track to spend almost £9.2bn by the end of this weekend.
Spending during Black Friday in the UK reached record highs by close of business on Friday, with transactions up 23 per cent compared to last year and 2.4 per cent on 2019 levels, according to data from one of the country’s biggest card issuers Barclaycard.
CEO Rob Cameron said the data showed Black Friday “remains a firm fixture in the annual shopping calendar,” and the UK could be on track for one of the biggest Black Friday sales counts on record by the end of Cyber Monday.
Meanwhile, Nationwide reported its customers had made almost 6m purchases by 5pm yesterday evening, up 26 per cent compared to last year, and a significant 24 per cent up on pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
The building society’s head of payments echoed Barclaycard in his optimism about this year’s sales.
John Lewis said it had seen a “brisk start” to trading yesterday, and expected to see a peak in spending as people logged in online overnight.
The department store’s trade planning director John Williams said it had seen “particularly strong demand across fashion and beauty ranges”, ahead of the UK’s first Christmas party season in two years.
Meanwhile, electricals store Currys said its Black Friday period had got off to a “strong start” online, with 56 purchases made on its site every minute between Thursday and Friday morning.
These positive sales may reflect shoppers’ eagerness to get their Christmas shopping done early, amid supply shortage fears prompted by ongoing microchip shortages, international shipping issues and HGV driver shortages, and manufacturing pauses in Asia due to Covid resurgences.
And if UK shoppers continue their spending spree throughout the whole weekend, Brits could be on track to meet Global Data analysts’ prediction of a mammoth £9.2bn total spend.