Hammerson recorded a 17% year-on-year increase in footfall this Black Friday at its shopping centres as visitor numbers topped half a million.

Saracens rugby stars were in attendance at Brent Cross on Friday, which recorded a 50% year-on-year rise in visitor numbers

Footfall was up over 30% when measured against the same day in 2009, when Black Friday was yet to feature as a shopping event in the UK, according to property developer Hammerson.

Brent Cross in North London received a 50% year-on-year boost in footfall as a result of the hype generated through this year’s Black Friday.

The Manor Walks retail park in Cramlington reported electrical retailers exceeded sales expectations by between 300-600%.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said:  “We knew that Black Friday was going to be popular with consumers this year however the breadth of retailers taking part across our centres and signs of strong trading performances means that Black Friday is undoubtedly here to stay.

“Our centres all saw dramatic increases in footfall, which has kick-started the Christmas shopping season, and we have seen retailers extend discounts for the entire weekend to maximise impact for shoppers. In coming years this date could challenge Boxing Day as retailers’ biggest event of the year.”