Online purchases are expected to pass £1 billion in 24 hours today, as the pre-Christmas discount day ‘Black Friday’ begins.

The American tradition, brought to the UK in 2010 by Amazon, sees US retailers slash prices the day after Thanksgiving in order to kickstart the Christmas spending season. In the last couple of years, retailers in the UK have followed suit, with groups such as Tesco, Currys and Asda offering discounts of up to 70 percent.

Retailers will be hoping that their Black Friday sales will spice up the month’s trading, as November figures released on Tuesday saw sales grow at the slowest rate in nine months. However, this may not be the case; last year, low-margin Black Friday sales was followed by weaker-than-expected demand leading to a disappointing outcome for major retailers.

According to a survey by Barclays, 77 percent of UK retailers are holding Black Friday promotions, with Visa Europe saying that £1.9bn could be spent online and in-store on its cards alone. Some analysts feel the event has distorted the traditional Christmas spending, pulling it forward at a time when retailers traditionally charged full prices.


Tesco opened select stores at 5am this morning, with a spokesman telling BBC that they had been “very busy so far with early shoppers behaving well.” Last year saw trouble in stores, with fights breaking out over discounted products.

Previous articleJohn Lewis sees 9.7 percent growth in sales
Next articleReadbug crowdfunds to become the ‘Spotify for magazines’