Black Friday to generate record online sales

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Internet News

Record online spending

Retailers are cashing in on the annual Black Friday shopping frenzy, in what is set to be a new UK online shopping record.

The Centre for Retail Research has forecasted a ten per cent increase in sales today, generating around £193m of sales; up from the UK average of £157m per day. Retailers including Apple, Asda, Currys, PC World, John Lewis and Tesco are offering considerable discounts, while Amazon has been holding Black Friday Lightning Deals since 2010.

Black Friday is a US tradition where retailers offer massive discounts the day after Thanksgiving, with deals then going online on Cyber Monday. However, in recent years, online retailers have brought their deals forward to make the most of the spending spree; Amazon kicked off its Black Friday sales on Monday 19 November this year.

The weekend is big news for retailers, as in 2011 the US spent a total of $52bn over the course of the weekend, including $1.25bn on Cyber Monday. In the UK, however, Amazon believes its biggest day for Christmas shopping will be the first Monday after payday.

Black Friday tech bargains

Tech products are often some of the biggest sellers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Amazon is offering flash discounts on over 1,000 products, including the Kindle Fire - which launched in October - for just £99. Apple is also getting in on the action with £31 off iPads, as well as discounts on iPods and MacBooks.

Natalie Booth, online marketing manager at theEword, said: "It's easy to see why Black Friday is such a phenomenon, as the limited timeframe coupled with huge discounts create a sense of urgency, and can lead to extravagant impulse buys. Of course, it's a long-standing tradition in the US and many people have the day off work, so it's a much bigger event."