Black Friday bonanza: How Brits blew billions over a weekend of wild sales

By Oliver Smith 28 November 2016

A booming £4bn weekend of shopping excess and regret.

You won’t have missed the excitement this weekend as Black Friday took over shops both on the high street and online.

From discount dishwashers to cut-price coffee machines, the sales ran rampant and so apparently did British consumer spending.

Barclaycard, which handles nearly half of all the credit and debit card payments in the UK, said the total amount spent (not just on sales) jumped 4.4% on Friday compared to last year topping £2.9bn by 5pm.

That’s all despite reports that many of the so-called ‘deals’ on Black Friday aren’t quite as good as they appear to be, and cartels pushing up online prices

Read more: The great Black Friday rip-off

Across the whole weekend, including today’s ‘Cyber Monday’ of online sales, total spending on sales alone is expected to soar to over £4bn.

Modern shopper with Black Friday paperbag going in the mall

And it’s not just Brits going wild for sales.

Trustly, the Stockholm-based group that provides online bank payments across 29 European countries, saw the number of transactions on Black Friday jump by more than 350% in Sweden compared to an average shopping day in November.

So, if you’re feeling regretful and a little poorer today, you’re not alone.

A growing number of people are questioning the ethics around such a debaucherous weekend of rampant consumerism. Clothing group Patagonia donated 100% of their Black Friday proceeds to environmental charities, and we personally love the work of Cards Against Humanity who this year subverted the whole idea with a ‘Holiday Hole’ that they dug based on donations from the public.

Over $100,000 was donated, and a pretty big hole was dug.

UPDATE 2016-11-28 – Trustly saw a 350% increase in transactions in Sweden, not across the whole of Europe as originally suggested.