Very owner Shop Direct is on track for its biggest trading day ever with total transactions up 24% on last year’s Black Friday.

Average spend is also up by double-digits year on year, Alex Baldock, boss of the group behind and, told Retail Week. 

Baldock said it had seen particular success selling the Xbox, PS1, coffee makers, hair straighteners and fragrances.

Shop Direct has spread out its deal with a Black Friday fortnight, which Baldock said had helped ease the pressure on its websites. “The sites have been very stable, but we’ve been stress testing them,” he said. “This has been 12 months of planning.”

Other retailers have been hit by website problems over Black Friday including John Lewis, Boots, Argos, River Island and Boohoo.

Baldock said he understood why some retailers have shied away from Black Friday this year and predicted more will in the future. “I think we’ll see a bit of a shake-out as more companies take the strategic decision not to participate,” he said.

However, he insisted Black Friday will be profitable for the company and repeated his assertion last month that the event is not a “vanity exercise”.

He predicted that Black Friday will still be around in five years’ time and Shop Direct will be involved. “Black Friday won’t disappear as customers love it so much,” he said.