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Barclaycard reports 1,184 transactions per second on Black Friday afternoon

Barclaycard has said that between 1pm and 2pm on Black Friday (29 November) it experienced a record-breaking number of transactions for this time of year.

Some 1,184 transactions per second were recorded, which was up by 9% compared to last year’s record of 1,087 transactions per second, which also occurred during the same lunchtime slot.

Some industry observers had suggested that Black Friday sales were set to be sluggish, but Barclaycard’s data suggested that by 10am the volume of payment transactions versus last year’s Black Friday were up by 12.5%.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, commented: “Over the past couple of years we have seen an increase in the volume of transactions on Black Friday. This trend has continued in 2019.”

He added: “This is fantastic news for retailers, with our data showing that transactions have also been strong throughout the week of Black Friday.

“With many retailers spreading their deals out throughout the week, they will be encouraged to see this hasn’t cannibalised sales volumes on Black Friday itself. It will be interesting to watch what happens as we progress throughout the day.”

Retailers across the UK have adopted different tactics to drive incremental sales during this annual sales period. Furniture e-tailer Made.com is running several promotions, including offering special deals only for its followers on Instagram via the social media platform, while department store chain John Lewis has been running promotions for the week leading up to today.

Bérangère Michel, operations director at John Lewis, said: “Our decision to start promotions earlier this year reflects the fact that Black Friday continues to extend across a longer period.

“In addition to our deals, we have been monitoring and price matching high street competitors throughout the week to offer our customers some of the best deals on the high street.”

As of midday on Black Friday, John Lewis said its busiest shopping hour online was between 9am and 10am. It added that the most searched for products included Lego, iPad and Airpods. 

Some retailers have planned novel internal events throughout Black Friday and so-called cyber weekend to reward staff and keep them motivated during this busy trading period, as reported by Essential Retail earlier this month.