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Retailers expect £2bn to be spent

Black Friday bonanza as shoppers seek out bargains

Black Friday discounts (photo by Terry Murden - DB Media Services)

Black Friday discounts (photos by Terry Murden – DB Media Services)

Retail sales buoyant this month

Black Friday is expected to be an online bonanza this year as an increasing number of shoppers choose to avoid the crush on the high street.

Chaotic scenes at some stores in previous years has persuaded many to seek out bargains from the comfort of their homes.

According to the online retailing association IMRG more than half of Black Friday spending will be done online.

John Lewis said it was taking five orders every second online. More than half a million people visited the Currys PC World website before 6am on Friday.

However, a number of retailers including shopping centres such as Braehead, Glasgow, are spreading the discount offers across four days, or longer to avoid the one-day rush and crush and to lure shoppers to stores.

Retailers are expecting a £2 billion spending spree in-store and online on Friday alone amid early reports that consumers will shrug off any Brexit worries and take advantage of deep discounts.

Shops are expected to beat last year’s £1.9bn Black Friday sales figure with electrical goods and clothing topping the list of purchases.

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Some retailers have opted not to join the Black Friday frenzy. Asda has repeated last year’s pledge not to take part following chaotic scenes in 2014. Next, Ikea and fashion chain Jigsaw have also chosen not to take part.

Consumers will spend £5.8bn over this weekend culminating with “Cyber Monday” when online sales reach their peak.

The mood among shoppers remains relatively buoyant with retail sales growing a their fastest pace for over a year in the 12 months to November, according to the latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey.

> The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the third quarter, official figures have confirmed, helped by export growth and stronger consumer spending.

In its second estimate of the health of the economy, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also said business investment grew by 0.9%, which was more than expected.

The OBR, which provides independent economic forecasts and analysis, said on Wednesday that it expects the economy to grow by just 1.4% in 2017, which was described by Warwick Business School as too pessimistic.

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