Black Friday sees drop in UK shopper numbers

Black Friday shopping was down this year in the UK, reports Barclays.

According to the bank, shopper numbers and transactions were both down versus last year. Barclays, which oversees nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, said that transaction volume on Friday 17 November was down 0.63 per cent from Black Friday 2022.

Though the day was still busier than the equivalent Friday in October with transaction volume up 2.7 per cent – which Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments said demonstrated the “continued popularity and importance” of the sales event – the bank’s figures show that the lustre of Black Friday may be wearing off for Brits.

Pettican said: "This dip in sales volumes year-on-year is perhaps expected given the impact of the cost-of-living on Brits' discretionary spending and the trend towards launching discounts earlier in November.”

In separate review, retail analyst MRI Software said that shopper numbers were down 1.6 per cent versus Black Friday 2022, with footfall down 12.6 per cent below 2019 numbers.

Retail sales volumes unexpectedly dropped in October, according to official data from the UK. This, combined with separate survey data from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) which showed continued falling sales in November, has stoked fears of recession.

In spite of these fears, major retailers including Tesco and Next have recently stated their confidence for a successful festive trading period.

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