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Retailers set for £2bn Black Friday

Retailers are set for a £2bn Black Friday boost today, despite many launching promotions earlier in the week to maximise the Sales opportunity and minimise disruption.

More than £721m is expected to be spent online and £1.19bn in stores today, according to research from Visa Europe. Online sales are expected to peak between 6pm and 7pm, while stores will be busiest at lunchtime between 1pm and 2pm, said the credit card company.

“This is shaping up to be a huge weekend, online and in-store, for retailers,” said Kevin Jenkins, managing director UK & Ireland at Visa Europe. “We’re looking at a combined £1.9bn being spent on Black Friday as retailers discount across both mediums.”

But many warn of the damaging effect on margins and that the promotions are simply pulling sales forward in the trading calendar.

According to retail analyst Richard Hyman, 44% of the high street had already launched Black Friday promotions by last night, up from 14% on Tuesday.

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