December 2, 2019 / 4:36 PM / 4 days ago

Black Friday sales in Britain jump 16.5% by value - Barclaycard

LONDON (Reuters) - The value of Black Friday sales in Britain jumped 16.5% compared with last year, according to data from payments firm Barclaycard, in a much needed boost for the country’s retailers.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a sign advertising Black Friday offers at a perfume store in Manchester, Britain November 20 2019. Picture taken November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Barclaycard, which processes nearly one pound ($1.28) in every three pounds spent in the United Kingdom, said the volume of transactions on the annual discount day rose 7.2% year-on-year, while the volume of transactions on Cyber Monday was so far up 6.9%.

With recent UK consumer spending subdued, Brexit still unresolved and a Dec. 12 national election creating new uncertainties, retailers have been hoping for a boost from the promotion events that were first brought over from the United States by Amazon in 2010.

Retail researcher Springboard said Black Friday saw a rise in shopper numbers of 3.3% versus 2018.

However, some analysts urged caution in extrapolating Friday’s shopping data.

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said this year’s event was helped by chilly and dry weather.

“The fact that this year it coincided with the November pay day and was a week closer to Christmas means that it was bound to have been stronger than last year and the cannibalisation impact on December trading is yet to unfold,” he said.

Though traditionally focused on stores, Black Friday has increasingly become an online event, blending with Cyber Monday to create four days - and often longer - of special offers.

U.S. retailers kicked off Cyber Monday by launching a slew of deals earlier than usual over the weekend, seeking to sustain the momentum of a record $11.6 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

($1 = 0.7794 pounds)

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Potter

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