Brits smashed transaction records on Black Friday as cash-strapped consumers splurged on deals despite the cost-of-living crisis. 

Consumer spending data from Barclaycard found transaction volumes rose 0.7% up until 1pm today, compared to the same time period on Black Friday 2021. Transactions were up 4.9% on Black Friday 2019.  

Shoppers broke the all-time record for transactions per second between 12pm and 1pm, Barclaycard said, with shoppers “making the most of their lunch break to bag a bargain”.

Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments, said due to the cost-of-living crisis, many shoppers were using Black Friday to spread the cost of Christmas. 

He said: “Despite the rising cost of living, it’s clear there is still an appetite to bag a Black Friday bargain. While shoppers may be tightening their belts overall, it looks like some have been holding back on purchases to wait for the sales to start and others are likely on the hunt for deals for Christmas gifts.

“Many more will also be heading to the pub early to secure a seat for England’s World Cup match against the USA. Sales volumes holding up against last year will come as welcome news for retailers against the challenging economic backdrop.”

Footfall data from Springboard also showed an improvement against 2021 levels, as shopper numbers climbed 4.6% across all retail destinations during the morning. However, in a sign that Black Friday is becoming an increasingly online phenomenon, particularly since the pandemic, footfall was down 22.4% compared to 2019 levels.

Up to 12pm - % change in footfall


Week on week

2022 vs 2021

2022 vs 2019

2022 vs 2018

High streets





Retail parks





Shopping centres





All UK destinations





High streets received the biggest boost from the deals extravaganza, as footfall rose 8% year on year. Shopping centres enjoyed a 3.6% uplift in traffic but retail parks saw a 1.5% drop in customer numbers. 

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “The footfall data demonstrates that while trading conditions are challenging, Black Friday is certainly not a disaster. We are also expecting footfall to strengthen this afternoon as those consumers who are working from home go shopping after lunch.  

“The dry and sunny weather will also help drive up activity, as will the England World Cup match this evening as shoppers may well head into towns and cities and do some shopping and then watch the match from bars in town centres.”

Sales ‘going gangbusters’ 

Retailers including John Lewis, eBay and Boots all reported strong trading, while a senior source at one major digital retailer said that sales were “going gangbusters”.

Department store chain John Lewis went earlier than ever on its Black Friday promotions, offering more than 5,000 deals for customers. A spokeswoman for the retailer said 5.5 products had been sold every second on Black Friday so far, with footfall to stores “picking up in the early afternoon”. 

John Lewis’ top sellers on the day included Apple Airpods, iPads, gaming, TVs and Hotel Chocolat advent calendars. 

Boots said Black Friday had “got off to a great start in both our stores and online”, taking more than three orders per second on its website.  

On the eve of Black Friday – November 24 – the warehouse dispatched its highest number of products so far this year. 

A Boots spokesperson added: “This Christmas is all about value, which is why Boots is offering our most affordable festive season ever. We know that customers want to buy presents for friends and family, but they want to do it on a budget so helping them to save money is crucial.”

Ecommerce giant eBay said customers had been planning well in advance of Black Friday, recording its busiest search traffic on the evening of November 22.

The online marketplace also found that 23% of its customers were looking to shop for Christmas presents on Black Friday – sales of “stocking fillers” have tripled so far this month.

Across home and technology, Dyson hair products and vacuums were among eBay’s top-10 best-selling products, while refurbished mattresses and iPhones were also popular. 

Murray Lambell, general manager of eBay UK, said: “This Black Friday, consumers have been capitalising on home and tech refurbished and pre-loved deals to make conscious savings on popular high ticket items, including certified refurbished Dyson Air Wraps and air fryers.

“So far our busiest site traffic was seen on Tuesday evening, as people planned out which items they wanted, which we anticipate will translate to purchases peaking this evening. And as inflation bites, this year we’ve also seen an increase in people using Black Friday to search for Christmas gifts of all sizes.”

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