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Shoppers forecast to spend almost £9bn on Black Friday

Pic by Peter Byrne

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Shoppers are expected to spend almost £9 billion on what could be the biggest Black Friday yet, according to analysts.

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

Early spending data shows customers have started the day spending more than on previous Black Fridays.

Barclaycard said its credit card data for midnight to 9am on Friday shows a 5.4% increase in spending compared with 2019, with a 21.4% rise against 2020.

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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