// Barclaycard Payments reported that transaction numbers edged up 0.7% year on year
// Footfall to retail stores jumped 4.6%, while home delivery demand was down
Black Friday got off to a “steady start” as Barclaycard Payments said that as of 1pm the volume of transactions edged up 0.7% versus last year and 4.9% against pre-pandemic levels.
Marc Pettican, the head of Barclaycard Payments, which processes around £1 of every £3 spent on debit and credit cards in the UK, said this amounted to a “steady start…despite the challenging economic backdrop.”
Nationwide said that its customers had made 8% more purchases by 2pm than last Black Friday and a third more than in 2020. Director of payment strategy Mark Nalder claimed today would be the busiest shopping day of the year.
The high street looks set to be the main beneficiary of Black Friday as shoppers shunned online to buy in retail stores.
Footfall across all retail destinations was up 4.6% against last year, with visitor numbers to high streets up 8% as shoppers headed to big high streets, according to Springboard data.
By contrast, demand for home deliveries was down 5%, according to the delivery technology group Metapack.
Footfall in central London rose 11.1% on last week and were up 7.7% in city centres across the UK. Footfall in shopping centres rose 3.6% year on year, however, it dipped 1.5% at retail parks.
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Not a disaster
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “The footfall data demonstrates that whilst trading conditions are challenging Black Friday is certainly not a disaster. We are also expecting footfall to strengthen this afternoon as those consumers who are working from home go shopping after lunch.
“The dry and sunny weather will also help drive up activity, as will the UK vs USA World Cup match this evening as shoppers may well head into towns and cities and do some shopping and then watch the match from bars in town centres.”
John Lewis said its Black Friday had got off to “a flying start”.
The department store, which has 5,000 Black Friday offers for customers, said shoppers had ordered 5.5 products every second today and that footfall was “really building” in its shops throughout the morning.
Its top sellers today have been Apple Airpods, iPads, gaming, TVs and Hotel Chocolat advent calendars.
John Lewis said that fashion was also experiencing “strong growth” with coats particuarly robust.
Shoppers were also snapping up Christmas products with sales of crackers rocketing 154%, pre-lit trees surging 39% and wreaths and garlands up 48%.
Black Friday Weekend spending in the UK is set to hit £8.71bn this year, as consumers hit up discounts ahead of Christmas amid the cost-of-living crisis.
VoucherCodes.co.uk has forecast a 0.8% year-on-year increase in retail spend over Black Friday Weekend this year to £8.71bn.