Credit:  Álvaro Ibáñez/Flickr

Black Friday is now bigger than Cyber Monday

It looks like Britain's adopted 'tradition' could be here to stay.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 21 Oct 2015

If you were one of the many who turned their noses up to Friday's orgy of consumerism then we've got some bad news for you. If, on the other hand, you enjoy fighting with strangers to get 40% off a TV then you're in luck.

It looks like Black Friday is here to stay as figures released today show it overtook Cyber Monday in terms of consumer spending for the first time. Estimates from Experian and IMRG suggest retail sales reached £810m last Friday, compared to £720m on Monday this week.

'A 60pc year-on-year increase in visit numbers to retail websites clearly shows that both British shoppers and British retailers have fully embraced the Black Friday trend,' said Giles Longhurst, general manager of consumer insight at Experian. 'With such a massive amount of money and time being spent online, shoppers have really begun the Christmas retail season with a bang.'

Although it's basically a marketing construct, there's some logic to Cyber Monday. You get to work on Monday morning after a lazy weekend, realise its just a few weeks before Christmas, panic and bulk all your pressies online, to make sure you've got time to get them delivered before the 25th.

But the distinctly multi-channel nature of Black Friday has begun to undermine this though. Images of hoards stripping the aisles of Asda in a bid to bag a bargain are just as likely to spur you into action and there's no shortage of online deals for those who aren't willing to queue up first thing.

As click and collect and shorter delivery times reduce the sense of urgency which has spurred on Cyber Monday, it looks likely to be permanently supplanted by the all-consuming Black Friday as Britain's biggest pre-Christmas shopping day. The jury's out on whether this is actually a good thing for retailers or if it just brings forward spending that would have happened anyway.

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