Black Friday marks the start of Christmas spending frenzy

Christmas shopping at the Woolshops, Halifax
Christmas shopping at the Woolshops, Halifax

Black Friday is set to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year, as retailers adopt the American tradition of offering discounts to entice shoppers in the run up to the festive season, research from Halifax reveals today.

The latest analysis from Halifax, which has looked at debit card transactions, demonstrates that in 2013 Black Friday was the second busiest day for spending in the entire year, with around two million more transactions carried out on the last Friday in November than any other Friday in the year, representing a 34% increase in overall spending from the average Friday.

The only other day to see more spending over the course of the year was the day before Christmas Eve, however the 9.3 million transactions carried out on the last full shopping day before Christmas was only two per cent busier than Black Friday, demonstrating that this is becoming an established spending event in the run up to Christmas.

Anthony Warrington, Director of Halifax Current Accounts, said: “It is often noted that Christmas appears to be starting earlier each year, and the data suggests that this is indeed the case. As UK retailers increasingly adopt the US style Black Friday promotions and discounts, we are starting to see the day after Thanksgiving become a major retail event for us here to.”

In the battle of the pre Christmas shopping events, Black Friday appears to be the clear winner, with over 1.5 million more transactions recorded in 2013 compared to Cyber Monday, the first Monday in December. However, apart from the day before Christmas Eve (which also fell on a Monday in 2013), Cyber Monday, was the busiest Monday of the year, being 24% busier than the average Monday throughout the year.

The average number of debit card purchases for November and December is 9% higher than the 10 months preceding it, with over half a million more daily transactions in these months on average.

Anthony Warrington added: “This is an expensive time of year, and the data suggests that the last minute dash to the shops is still very much a feature. However, more of us have started to plan our shopping, with this weekend sounding the starting gun to the countdown to Christmas spending.”