Retailers are using Black Friday as a tactic to lure shoppers back to the high street before Christmas, sector experts at trade credit insurer Atradius report.
Black Friday is hoped to kick-start the Christmas shopping season and encourage consumers to return to in-store shopping after lockdowns have driven the shift to online.
Early spending data shows that people have spent more this year than previous years as shoppers will be spending more this Christmas.
The UK’s largest local online shopping platform, Shoplocalonline.org, has said many of its small businesses have had “a blinder of a Black Friday” so far, as people shun the online giants for their local high streets.
Shoplocalonline.org founder Jackie Mulligan, who is also an expert on the Government’s High Streets Task Force said, “So far the feedback we’re getting from many of the small high street independents we work with is that Black Friday has been a blinder.
“It’s certainly not the case for all our businesses, but overall the response we’re getting is positive and better than expected.
“In many cases, many of our businesses are saying customers have made a point of visiting them to offer their support rather than purchase something online.
“People are voting for small businesses with their feet, which is highly encouraging as we enter the critical festive sales period.
“We are encouraging everyone, wherever possible, to shop locally with their small independents, for whom the festive period really could be make or break.
“After almost 20 months of misery due to the pandemic, our small bricks and mortar businesses need people’s support more than ever this Christmas.”
ShopLocalOnline.org business owner, Rachel Harvey of The Paint Box in Cleethorpes, added, “Based on the morning’s frantic footfall, the Black Friday backlash may be underway.
“It’s fantastic that people are choosing to shop local this year and I hope that continues at this critical time for so many small independents.
“I like to think small businesses like mine give good value all year round rather than just for one day.”