Leeds shoppers set to splash out on Black Friday

Shoppers grabbing Black Friday bargains at Asda,  Pudsey, in November 2014
Shoppers grabbing Black Friday bargains at Asda, Pudsey, in November 2014
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ALMOST 30 per cent of people in Leeds plan to grab a bargain on Black Friday, according to figures released by Barclaycard.

And just under half of those Leeds residents are planning to treat themselves rather than buy for others on November 27.

A total of 48-per cent of Black Friday shoppers in Leeds will shop online to avoid potential stampedes seen last year.

Black Friday has firmly established itself as a key date in the UK shopping calendar, with 33 per cent expected to participate in Black Friday this year.

Nationally, 29 per cent of Black Friday shoppers plan to spend on consumer electronics with TVs, tablets and mobile phones the most sought-after items.

Six in ten Black Friday shoppers across the country will indulge in self-gifting, a number that rises to more than eight in ten for Londoners.

By contrast, 51 per cent plan to buy for their family and just 40 per cent will be shopping for their partner.

Consumers are expected to spend more than £1bn on Black Friday this year after spending on the US-imported phenomenon took off in 2013, jumping 20.7 per cent compared to the year before, according to Barclaycard data.

Last year saw spending up 18 per cent overall and a whopping 37.5 per cent online.

In general, Black Friday 2014 saw overall online spend at 1.9 times that of an average day

Amid calls from the National Police Chiefs’ Council for retailers to provide appropriate security measures to avoid a repeat of last year’s scenes – when shoppers stormed stores in the hunt for a deal – 49 per cent of sales shoppers say they plan to shop online rather than on the high street.

Chris Wood, Chief Operating Officer at Barclaycard said: “As a nation of savvy shoppers, British consumers have made Black Friday a key point in the Christmas shopping calendar over the past few years. Instead of shopping for others, however, many are instead taking advantage of deals and buying the items they’ve coveted all year for themselves.

“Sales of consumer electronics will again prove a key draw for many, with discounts on the latest phones, tablets and TVs tempting shoppers. In a move to avoid a repeat of last year’s scenes, when shoppers stormed stores in the hunt for a deal, online channels will see the bulk of the spending, making it potentially the biggest day of the year for online shopping.”

Leeds-based Asda said earlier this month it will not be part of Black Friday this year, citing “shopper fatigue” around the one-day sales event.

The retailer said customer feedback was behind its decision to invest in £26 million of savings for shoppers across the season rather than a one-off day of sales.

It claimed shopper fatigue had set in around flash sales on big-ticket, non-essential items at Christmas.

The Walmart-owned store, credited with introducing Black Friday to the UK in 2013, faced criticism for its poor handling of the event last year when shoppers fought over deals in stores.

Black Friday in the US refers to the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, when families traditionally take to the shops in the manner of a British Boxing Day.

Britons are expected to spend £3.49 billion on bargains over the four days starting with “Black Friday”, with online sales alone predicted to be up 16 per cent on last year.

Some 14.7 million shoppers will take part in the sales bonanza from this Friday, culminating with “Cyber Monday” when most workers will be in possession of their last pay check of the year, according to figures from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk.

Those in the UK are expected to spend 21 per cent, or £450 million, more over the four days than France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium combined.

And despite last year’s crowds and incidents of havoc in stores, the event is expected to boost footfall on the high street, with 13.9 million people expected to do at least some of their shopping in bricks and mortar locations.

However most cash - £2.22 billion - will be spent online, up 16% on last year’s £1.91 billion, the CRR predicts.

Visa Europe has predicted Black Friday shoppers will put a total of £1.9 billion on its cards alone.

It estimates shoppers will put £721 million spent on online purchases on its cards, up 17 per cent on last year and a 61 per cent increase on 2013, peaking in the “golden hour” between 6pm and 7pm when commuters buy via their phones and tablets.

Another £1.19 billion will be spent on its cards in fast-to-face transactions - up only four per cent on last year but a 20% on 2013 - peaking in the lunchtime hour between 1pm and 2pm.