Retailers have seen a “steady start” to Black Friday trading amid fears the rising cost-of-living could weigh on shoppers.
Barclaycard Payments has revealed that sales volumes on Friday have been consistent with what was recorded on Black Friday last year.
As of 1pm, the credit card firm, which processes £1 of every £3 spent in the UK, said transaction volumes were 0.7% higher year-on-year.
Barclaycard said this included rapid sales around lunchtime, with the firm reporting a record number of transactions per second between 12 and 1pm.
Electricals retailer Currys said that rocketing household energy bills has helped to boost Black Friday sales of energy efficient products such as air fryers and heat-pump tumble dryers.
It revealed that 18,159 air fryers have been sold over the past week alone.
Experts said sales have also been higher in the week leading up to Black Friday.
Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Our data shows that Black Friday is off to a steady start this year, despite the challenging economic backdrop.
“When looking at spending on the morning of Black Friday, so far today, transaction volumes are broadly in line with what we saw this time last year.
“We have also seen an increase in transactions in the week leading up to today, with volumes up 3.46 per cent week-on-week compared to the lead up to Black Friday last year.
“It’s likely the feel good factor in the run up to the World Cup, with the England and Wales matches on Monday of this week, has given retail and hospitality a boost.”
High street footfall was also up 4.6% on Black Friday last year, as of noon, according to figures from Springboard.
UK shopping destinations saw higher shopper numbers, although this still remained 22.4% lower than Black Friday in 2019, before the impact of the pandemic.
Building society Nationwide said it saw higher purchase numbers as of 2pm on Friday compared with the last two years.
It said members have made 4.52 million transactions, which it said is 8% higher than Black Friday last year and 36% higher than Black Friday in 2020, which was hampered by pandemic restrictions.
Mark Nalder, director of payment strategy at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Spending continues to remain strong as shoppers search out bargains ahead of the festive period.
“Black Friday will provide a welcome boost for retailers as the number of transactions continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
“We expect spending to remain robust throughout the evening as people make the most of pay day and celebrate the end of the working week.”