Black Friday retail sales drop despite rise in online shopping

Black Friday online shopping covid-19 pandemic lockdown
Sales made in physical stores and online fell by more than a 10th compared with Black Friday a year ago
// Black Friday sales fell by more than a 10th compared with a year ago
// Barclaycard found that overall payments made to retailers on Friday had dropped by 16.7% compared to a year ago
// Most Black Friday sales typically take place in physical shops, highlighting the impact on retailers

Black Friday retail sales have dropped despite the rapid surge in online shopping as non-essential stores remain closed in England during the second lockdown.

Sales made in physical stores and online fell by more than a 10th compared with Black Friday a year ago, according to figures from Barclaycard.

John Lewis said Friday would break all of its previous records for online spending, with sales up by 35 per cent compared with its busiest day during the same period a year ago.


READ MORE: How will retailers trade through Black Friday amidst the pandemic?


However, the company will record zero sales at all 38 of its shops in England, and at its Glasgow store, where government restrictions have forced the closure of shops.

Barclaycard said most Black Friday sales typically take place in physical shops, highlighting the impact on retailers that have had to close their doors during the pandemic

It warned that overall payments made to retailers between midnight and 4pm on Friday had dropped by 16.7 per cent compared with the same time a year ago.

In a typical year, about two-thirds of the transactions processed by Barclaycard on Black Friday come from in-store sales, with the rest coming from online.

Meanwhile, Springboard said visits to shopping destinations were down by 58 per cent across the UK by 3pm on Friday compared with last year.

Footfall was down most on high streets and at shopping centres. The biggest fall was in central London, with a drop of 82.9 per cent.

However, the decline in footfall was far lower in Wales and Scotland where Covid restrictions allow more shops to open.

Footfall in Wales was down by a third across the country compared with Black Friday a year ago, while retail visits were down by 50 per cent in Scotland.

BRC said that shops that were forced to close over the past month have lost a combined £8 billion in sales.

The ONS said online sales accounted for about 28.5 per cent of all spending in October, compared with 19 per cent in January before the pandemic struck.

Online food sales have nearly doubled while clothing stores have managed to drive up online sales by 17.1 per cent.

However, these increases have been outweighed by a 22.1 per cent decline in spending in physical stores.

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