Air fryers drive 'steady start’ to Black Friday on the high street despite cost pressures

Shoppers on Winchester's High Street on Black Friday.
Shoppers on Winchester's High Street on Black Friday Credit: PA

Air fryers have helped drive Black Friday sales in what could be the busiest shopping day of the year despite fears the rising cost-of-living would keep shoppers away.

Retailers have seen a “steady start” to Black Friday, with Barclaycard Payments revealing that sales volumes on Friday morning have been consistent with what was recorded on Black Friday last year.

But despite the rise on last year, shopper numbers on the first Black Friday without Covid restrictions in three years, are well below 2019 levels with total footfall by noon down 22% pre-pandemic.

A woman carrying shopping bags enters a shop on Henry Street in Dublin's city centre. Credit: PA

Retail footfall was 7.3% higher this morning than last Friday, although high streets only recorded around 4% more shoppers that last week, data from Springboard reports.While, Nationwide figures report electronic transactions up a third on 2019.

Electricals retailer Currys revealed that 18,159 air fryers have been sold over the past week alone.

Despite warnings that event, which usually stretches out over days, into Cyber Monday could be muted due to pressure on consumers' wallets, experts said sales have also been higher in the week leading up to Black Friday despite the challenging economic backdrop.

Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments, said: “When looking at spending on the morning of Black Friday, so far today, transaction volumes are broadly in line with what we saw this time last year.

“We have also seen an increase in transactions in the week leading up to today, with volumes up 3.46 per cent week-on-week compared to the lead up to Black Friday last year.

“It’s likely the feel good factor in the run up to the World Cup, with the England and Wales matches on Monday of this week, has given retail and hospitality a boost.”

Shoppers on Oxford Street, London on Black Friday. Credit: PA

Building society Nationwide said it saw higher purchase numbers as of 9am on Friday compared with the last two years.

It said members have made 1.37 million transactions, which it said is 7% higher than Black Friday last year and 33% higher than Black Friday in 2020, which was hampered by pandemic restrictions.

Mark Nalder, director of payment strategy at Nationwide Building Society said: “Early indications are that this Black Friday will be the busiest shopping day of the year.”

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