Black Friday weekend expected to be the busiest ever with shoppers set to spend £5.5bn

23 November 2017

Britons are expected to spend £5.5bn over the Black Friday weekend. With many retailers beginning sales earlier, figures suggest sales could reach up to £8.9bn from Tuesday 21 November to Cyber Monday.

Five years since the phenomenon was introduced to the UK from the US, MBNA, the specialist credit card company, has analysed the debit and credit card transactions across Lloyds Banking Group of millions of Britons ahead of the big shopping weekend to see how the event has evolved.

In 2016, national sales over the Black Friday peak period was the highest ever, reaching £6.45 billion [1]. This year’s Black Friday is taking place on 24 November and Cyber Monday on 27 November.

Black Friday becomes Black Friday Week and Cyber Monday falls short

While retailers are becoming better prepared and in some instances, offering deals earlier in the week, Black Friday continues to be the day of peak spending. In 2016, customers were spending 43 per cent more compared to other weeks in November. On Black Friday, the average transaction value increased by 9 per cent compared to a typical Friday from £66 to £72. However, in 2016, the number decreased on Cyber Monday from £68 to £66.

Boom for electronic and clothes retailers

In 2016, the data shows the biggest winners were electronic, homeware and clothing retailers, with some popular brands seeing up to a ten-fold increase in sales. The numbers also reflect other sectors getting involved in deals with an increase in spending last year in the airline and DIY sectors.

Burning the midnight oil, a nation of online shoppers

Compared to corresponding weeks in November, the data shows an uplift of almost 150 per cent for online spending on Black Friday. Shoppers continue to spend online over the weekend and Cyber Monday with an increase of around 50 per cent.

Shops on the high street are also benefiting from extra footfall with an increase of 40 per cent on Black Friday. However, spending drops to normal levels the days afterwards.

Spending is fairly consistent throughout the day, with millions of Britons shopping at work from their desks. The data also shows notable peaks at midnight and 7am.

When it comes to men and women, there is little difference in behaviour by gender, however the data shows men are generally spending more per transaction than women.

Black Friday, however, continues to be of greater importance to younger shoppers. Online spending among 18-24 year olds is three times higher than corresponding days in November. Though these spikes are not exclusive to the younger population. There is an uplift of almost 80 percent on online spend among pensioners compared with corresponding weeks in November.


Britons continue to enjoy a bargain with certain regions taking greater advantages than others. Of the top 20 areas with the greatest uplift in spending on Black Friday, 19 were outside the South of England. 

Interestingly, the areas with the smallest uplift were in London. Shoppers in Westminster, City of London, Camden, Wandsworth and Southwark were least likely to spend more on Black Friday than on a typical day. The area with the smallest uplift are the Isles of Scilly.

The greatest uplift in spending is among Northern Irish shoppers who are spending almost 80% more in-store than they would on a typical November Friday. Likewise, Scots and East Midlanders are spending more online than other regions with a 150% uplift on corresponding November days.

Nitesh Patel, Economist at MBNA said: Over the past five years, we’ve seen an evolution to Black Friday week. Most shoppers are doing their buying online, they tend to be younger and they like to buy clothes and electronic goods.

"Interestingly, Black Friday has not replaced the traditional run up to Christmas shopping and Boxing Day sales. In fact, for Scotland and the North of England, Boxing Day remains the biggest shopping day of the year.

"While inflation has been slowly rising this year, interestingly consumers are spending proportionally the same on luxury and necessity goods as they were this time last year."