Nov 27, 2020
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Black Friday shopping down in double-digits says Barclaycard

Nov 27, 2020

Barclaycard has said that the volume of sales transactions up to 4pm was down 16.7% on Black Friday. The company’s figures are particularly useful because it actually almost £1 in every £3 spent in the UK.

Black Friday transactions are down so far - Photo: Public domain

It’s perhaps no surprise that there's been a decline and some predictions had come out saying that the value of Black Friday overall would drop this year. But with consumers being forced to go online, given the large numbers of stores that are still closed across the UK, it was unclear just how much of a fall might be seen or whether there might even have been an uplift due to those consumers doing early Christmas shopping.

Barclaycard overall transaction volumes on Black Friday fell due to non-essential retailers’ physical stores being closed and many vendors spreading online discounts throughout November.

But it's interesting that the company is also predicting a surge in December with something of a return to the traditional shopping patterns that were seen before Black Friday started to make an impact in the UK earlier in the last decade. 

Back then, December was the crucial festive shopping month and Barclaycard is expecting the first day that the shops are allowed to open in England next week to see a surge in in transactions that will surpass those of Black Friday itself.

That’s because, while Black Friday is increasingly seen as an online phenomenon in the UK, Barclaycard said it’s actually primarily an in-store event.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “In a typical year, about two-thirds of the transactions we process on Black Friday come from in-store sales, with the rest coming from online. This year, with non-essential businesses unable to open across large parts of the UK, and retailers spreading their online deals throughout the month to avoid a bottleneck, it’s no surprise that transaction volumes are not living up to last year’s record-breaking highs.”

But he added that "it’s important to note that transactions are still up considerably compared to the rest of lockdown". 

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