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This year’s Black Friday is on track to be the “busiest ever” as shoppers shake off cost-of-living woes to make the most of festive deals, spending data has revealed.

Nationwide Building Society said that sales volumes on Friday show people have been making more purchases than this time last year.

By midday, customers had made 3.22 million transactions, which is 14% higher than than a typical Friday and 5% more than Black Friday 2022.

Bargain hunters are already out in force with the number of transactions made by 9am up 15% compared to the same period on Black Friday last year

Mark Nalder, Nationwide

It is also 13% more than the same day in 2021, Nationwide said.

Retailers have launched sales and shopping deals hoping to lure in shoppers with discounted prices in the run-up to Christmas.

Mark Nalder, director of payment strategy at Nationwide, said the morning’s purchase data “suggests that this year’s Black Friday is going to be the the busiest one ever”.

“Our data shows that bargain hunters are already out in force with the number of transactions made by 9am up 15% compared to the same period on Black Friday last year,” Mr Nalder added.

Although the cost of living may be impacting some shoppers’ spending on non-essential items, many are still taking the opportunity to bag a Black Friday bargain

Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments

Meanwhile, rival banking group Barclays revealed that the volume of purchases leading up to Black Friday were higher than this time last year, as retailers continue to launch sales earlier in the month.

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Data from the firm, which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, showed spending volumes were up 1.4% in the week to Wednesday compared with the equivalent week last year.

Marc Pettican, the head of Barclaycard Payments, said the uptick in spending will come as “welcome news” to retailers who will be hoping sales remain boosted throughout the weekend.

He said: “Over the last few years we’ve seen Black Friday sales arrive earlier and earlier, with shoppers spreading their spending over a longer period of time.

“Although the cost of living may be impacting some shoppers’ spending on non-essential items, many are still taking the opportunity to bag a Black Friday bargain.”

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