Retailers on track for record Black Friday as shoppers hit high streets

Shoppers are expected to spend almost £9 billion across the day, according to analysts.

Henry Saker-Clark
Friday 26 November 2021 14:46
Shoppers on Oxford Street in London, on Black Friday (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Shoppers on Oxford Street in London, on Black Friday (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

UK retailers are poised for a record Black Friday as early data showed shoppers are spending more than they did before the pandemic.

Figures from Barclaycard – showing credit card spending from midnight to 1pm – has revealed that sales volumes have increased by 4.2% compared with Black Friday in 2019.

This also represented a 23.3% increase on volumes against 2020, Barclaycard said.

Rob Cameron, chief executive officer of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s clear that there is still appetite for the savings that are to be had, and consumers are making the most of shops being open to pick up a festive bargain.

Shoppers have spent more than previous years, according to early data (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“Retailers will also be pleased to see their sales volumes have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and have surpassed those seen in 2019.

“So far the data looks extremely promising and we should be set for one of the most successful Black Friday shopping sprees on record.”

Shoppers are expected to spend almost £9 billion across the day, according to analysts.

Retail experts had predicted that spending will rise beyond pre-pandemic levels as shoppers seek to spend more on loved ones following disrupted Christmas celebrations last year.

Black Friday comes amid increased pressure on the retail sector amid supply chain disruption, soaring shipping costs and labour pressures.

Analysts at PwC forecast that around £8.7 billion will be spent, up from £7.8 billion in 2019.

This would also be almost twice the total spent last year, when the shopping day was entirely online due to lockdown restrictions across the UK.

Analysts have therefore predicted that shoppers will be keen to spend extra in a bid to make up for last year and have bumper Christmas celebrations with their families.

However, there have also been indications there could be fewer deals on display this year, with some big brands choosing not to participate.

Around 85% of independent retailers said they will not take part in the shopping event, according to figures from earlier this week.

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) said its latest survey of members showed the majority will not be slashing their prices.

Retailers said they are keen to support their profit margins, as they recover from the heavy toll of the pandemic and enforced closures, as well as current inflationary pressures.

PwC experts also predict that men will spend significantly more on Black Friday – splashing out £338 each compared with an average of £210 for women.

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