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…and they’re off! Shoppers count down to Black Friday

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The Thanksgiving trading window opens across the pond today, but UK shoppers appear to be increasingly adopting US spending patterns as retailers entice them in with discounts.

Research from Halifax looking at debit card transactions shows that in 2013 Black Friday was the second busiest day for spending in the entire year, with around two million more transactions carried out on the last Friday in November than any other Friday in the year, representing a 34 per cent increase in overall spending from the average Friday.

The only other day to see more spending over the course of the year was the day before Christmas Eve – the last full shopping day before Christmas. However the 9.3 million transactions carried out on the 23rd December were only 2 per cent busier than Black Friday, demonstrating that this is becoming an established spending event in the run up to Christmas.

Black Friday has also emerged as a clear winner over ‘Cyber Monday’. That said, Cyber Monday was still the busiest Monday of the year, being 24 per cent busier than the average Monday.

Anthony Warrington, director of Halifax current accounts, said: “It is often noted that Christmas appears to be starting earlier each year, and the data suggests that this is indeed the case. As UK retailers increasingly adopt the US style Black Friday promotions and discounts, we are starting to see the day after Thanksgiving become a major retail event for us here too.”

The average number of debit card purchases for November and December is 9% higher than the 10 months preceding it, with over half a million more daily transactions in these months on average. Overall, woman use their cards more than men; with 55% of transactions attributed to women, compared to 45 per cent to men. Over November and December the bias towards women increases marginally (by 1.6 per cent).

However, there is one day of the year where men (53.4 per cent) are more likely to be spending than women (46.6 per cent) – Christmas day itself.

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