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Second national lockdown to drive Black Friday sales down 20 per cent

The introduction of a second national lockdown will push Black Friday sales down 20 per cent as consumers wait for shops to reopen to bag a bargain.

Nationwide Building Society predicted a drop off in spending on 27 November, compared to a previous forecast of a 12 per cent increase, due to the month-long lockdown.

It would mark the first time the company has seen a year-on-year spending drop on what has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

However, Nationwide customers are still expected to make more than 6.5m transactions on Black Friday, with a value of around £224m, equalling nearly £155,000 a minute.

Research revealed that Brits will spend an average of £172m on Black Friday and £160m on Cyber Monday as they seek to make a saving in the run up to Christmas.

Nearly two thirds of consumers said they have delayed purchasing items in order to snap up a bargain on the discount day, with half using it as a chance to secure cut-price Christmas gifts.

Due to the closure of physical stores 62 per cent of shoppers will buy online, citing ease, flexibility, discount codes and greater choice, alongside Covid-19, as drivers behind the shift.

Additionally, 16 per cent of consumers said the requirement to wear a make had put them off shopping in store.

Mark Nalder, head of payments at Nationwide, said: “Spending had begun to return back to normal levels in the weeks preceding the second lockdown.

“As a result, we were expecting Black Friday transactions to exceed last year by a margin of around 12 per cent.

“However, tighter restrictions mean people are being understandably cautious and many, particularly those who enjoy getting to the shops and stores, will likely wait until stores are back open again before making their big pre-Christmas purchases meaning we expect the number of transactions to drop by up to 20 per cent on what we had previously forecast for this year.”

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