Online retail spike expected ahead of Black Friday 2014 header image

People across the UK are expected to be glued to their internet-connected devices next week during the online shopping bonanza known as Black Friday.

The yearly sales event is a well-known retail phenomenon in the US and marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. Coming the day after Thanksgiving, the event sees retailers across the country opening early and offering many tempting discounts.

Until recently, Black Friday was not an established institution in Britain, but this changed when online retail giant Amazon brought the concept across in 2010 by offering a wide range of special deals and promotions to coincide with the end of November.

This year, Black Friday will take place on November 28th and a wide range of the country's biggest brands will be getting involved, including Asda, John Lewis, Argos, Sainsbury's, Halfords, Currys PC World and many more.

A report by Visa Europe predicts that consumers will spend £1 million every three minutes - or £6,000 a second - on credit and debit cards during the 2014 Black Friday event, with the day itself to see 8.5 million online transactions, up 22 per cent on last year. Shopping activity is likely to peak between the hours of 19:00 and 20:00 GMT.

However, for many retailers, the promotions will not be limited to the Friday itself, with Amazon making the most of the excitement by launching the first of its offers at 08:00 GMT on Monday 24th November, with fresh deals going up every ten minutes until the end of the following Sunday.

Xavier Garambois, vice-president of European retail at Amazon, said: "Last year, Black Friday was so popular that for the very first time in our history, we received orders for over four million items in one day. This year, we are offering ten times as many deals as Black Friday Deals Week 2010."

A recent report from the British Retail Consortium show online sales in the UK rose 15.4 per cent in October, but Black Friday is likely to push these numbers even higher this month.