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UK set for record Black Friday sales | Black friday

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UK is heading towards its biggest Black Friday selling day, with data suggesting shoppers already spent more than a fifth more than last year by mid-morning and 5.4% more than in 2019.

Payments through Barclaycard, one of the UK’s largest debit and credit card issuers, rose 21.4% between midnight and 9 a.m. compared to the same period in 2020, when most British department stores were blocked.

Nationwide said its customers made 1.3 million purchases as of 9 a.m., 24% more than last year. Mark Nalder, head of payments at the construction company, said: “We expect the day to be even busier, as the busiest shopping times are usually around lunchtime and early in the morning. evening when people are done working. “

Figures show the UK is on track for buyers to spend nearly £ 9.2bn this weekend – 15% more than in 2020 – as GlobalData analysts predict for the VoucherCodes Shopping for Christmas report.

The surge in sales comes amid concern over the spending frenzy, with Amazon’s largest UK warehouse being blocked by climate activists targeting the global online retailer’s busiest day of the year.

Around 20 Extinction Rebellion activists have prevented trucks from entering the company’s Scottish distribution center in Dunfermline, Fife, from 4 a.m. The group said it was also protesting at sites in England, in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury and Milton Keynes.

An XR spokesperson said: “The action aims to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices, disregard of workers’ rights in the name of corporate profits , as well as the waste of Black Friday. “

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Many smaller stores are expected to boycott the day or offer alternatives such as “Color Friday” which aims to highlight alternative creative ideas that local independent stores can bring. Some big names on the street, including Marks & Spencer and Next, are ignoring the event while others are offering greener alternatives, with Ikea, for example, offering an additional 20% refund on old furniture brought back for resale.

Retailers, including specialist AO.com, have warned that Black Friday sales could be affected by potential product shortages, especially in electrical and electronic items, due to limited supply of microchips, shutdowns factory in the Asia-Pacific region caused by the pandemic and issues with international shipping. John Lewis also said some tech vendors are struggling to keep up with demand.

But major retailers, including John Lewis, Asda and Currys, have said they will offer more deals as a battle rages for custom, with shoppers buying gifts earlier than in previous years.

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