November 27, 2022

Retailers saw a “steady start” to Black Friday deals amid fears the rising cost of living could hit shoppers.

Barclaycard Payments revealed that sales volumes on Friday were in line with last year’s Black Friday.

As of 1pm, the credit card firm, which processes £1 in every £3 spent in the UK, said transaction volume was up 0.7% on the year.

Barclaycard said this included brisk sales around lunchtime, with the firm reporting a record number of transactions per second between 12pm and 1pm.

It comes after warnings that the shopping day could be halted due to pressure on consumer bills.

Electrical retailer Currys said skyrocketing household energy bills helped boost Black Friday sales of energy-efficient products such as air fryers and heat pump tumble dryers.

It revealed that 18,159 fryers were sold in the last week alone.

Experts said sales were also higher in the week leading up to Black Friday.

Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Our data shows that Black Friday has had a steady start this year despite the difficult economic environment.

“When we look at spending on Black Friday morning, to date, transaction volumes are largely in line with what we saw this time last year.

“We also saw an increase in trading in the week leading up to today, with volumes up 3.46% week-on-week compared to the period leading up to Black Friday last year.

“It is likely that the feel-good factor in the lead-up to the World Cup, with England and Wales matches on Monday this week, has given a boost to retail and hospitality.”

Traffic on the street also increased by 4.6% on Black Friday last year, starting at noon, according to figures from Springboard.

UK shopping destinations saw higher numbers of shoppers, although this remained 22.4% lower than Black Friday in 2019, before the impact of the pandemic.

Building Society Nationwide said it had seen a higher number of purchases as of 2pm on Friday compared to the past two years.

It said members made 4.52 million transactions, which it said was 8 percent higher than last year’s Black Friday and 36 percent higher than 2020’s Black Friday, which was hampered by pandemic restrictions.

Mark Nalder, director of payment strategy at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Spending continues to remain strong as shoppers look for bargains ahead of the festive period.

“Black Friday will provide a welcome boost for retailers as transaction numbers continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

“We expect spending to remain robust throughout the evening as people make the most of payday and celebrate the end of the work week.”

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