The Black Friday shopping phenomenon well and truly took off in the UK this year, as consumers spent 18% more than they did on the same day last year to get hold of the best deals in the run-up to Christmas.
The huge levels of growth, both online and in-store, made it the highest spending day on record, according to data from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all the UK’s debit and credit card transactions.
Originally a US shopping event but with increasing numbers of retailers in the UK taking part in promotional events and stock-discounting, the event kicked-off the Christmas shopping season in style as British consumers spent £810m in one day.
Spending was up significantly both online and in-store as retailers offered discounts through both channels, but consumers increasingly took to the web to secure the best deals and avoid the crowds. Online spending was 37.5% higher than last year’s Black Friday, and the level of spending was up so much that it shifted the proportion of total online spending so far this season by 4 percentage points to 25.8%.
Many categories of retail saw spend up by 50% or more on last year, with even larger increases online. Online department store spend jumped a massive 144% compared to Black Friday 2013; with in-store spend up 44%. Online spending on clothing was 98% higher than the same time last year; in-store it was up 38%. Discount stores also saw a significant rise in sales, with spending up 46% online and 53% in-store.
A combination of retailers focussing their discounts on electrical items and consumers taking to stores to get their hands on a new TV straight away meant electronics was one of the few categories where spending in-store grew more than it did online. Consumers spent double the amount in-store this year, compared to 57% more online.
The increases in spending mean more was spent on this year’s Black Friday than on any day of last year’s shopping season, making it the biggest spending day on record.
Spending on ‘Black Friday’ last year was up 21% year-on-year, with spending online up 41%.