Black Friday 2022 sale begins: shoppers snap up deep fryers and heat pump tumble dryers

Shoppers are buying deep fryers, heat pump tumble dryers and energy efficient appliances on credit cards as Black Friday coincides with the cost of living crisis.

Rising costs of essentials such as energy and food mean families are tightening their belts and cutting back on Christmas spending – including the Black Friday sales.

Electricals retailer Currys said it had already seen customers change their behavior to focus more on ‘essential home products’ rather than luxury technology such as computers and plasma screens – much of it paid for on credit.

Ed Connolly, the company’s chief commercial officer, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Buying electrical equipment on one type of credit or another is the norm. That’s because people want to spread the cost, and we offer affordable ways to do that.

‘More people are accepting it than at this time last year. The obvious conclusion that can be drawn is that people are concerned about their own finances and are looking for ways to spread expenses over a longer period of time.

‘I think when you put that together with the types of products that people are buying, with energy efficient products on the rise, I think you can take away that consumers are more concerned about their finances this year than last year.’

Long queues were already forming outside the Lego Store in Leicester Square by 9am at the start of Black Friday

Coach store branch Size? in Liverpool has already attracted a sizable queue of buyers for the start of sales today

Shoppers queue outside the Apple store in Regent Street on Black Friday – a retail tradition imported to the UK from America

Black Friday shoppers on Manchester’s Market Street near the city’s famous Christmas market this morning

Asked about the type of items people are buying, he said: ‘On Black Friday we see people prioritizing basic domestic products – whereas in the past it was more luxury technology. Things like microwave ovens and deep fryers – of which we sell 2,500 units a day.

‘This is definitely the year of the air fryer. As soon as we get stock, people buy it, because it’s a very energy efficient way of cooking. We’re also seeing customers getting involved with things like heat pump tumble dryers which can save £300 on energy bills.’

Despite pressures on the cost of living, industry analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown predict that spending over the weekend to Cyber ​​Monday will still be around 0.8 per cent higher than last year. They say it is likely to be £8.7bn due to inflation, despite a big drop in purchases.

Senior investment and markets analyst Susannah Streeter said: ‘Retailers are desperate for some spending sentiment, but there are worries this could turn out to be more than a gloomy Friday. With the promotional event taking place amid a cost-of-living storm, can consumers be more careful about where they spend their money?’

A survey by market research agency Opinium found that more than three-quarters plan to buy gifts at sales this year, and 13 percent will do so for the first time. But some of the glow surrounding the Black Friday event has been dampened by concerns that many of the deals claimed are void.

Research published this week by consumer Which? suggested that there are very few Black Friday-specific offers. Often products are kept at a reduced price until the Christmas and January sales.

A security guard stands by as customers start arriving at the Lego store in Leicester Square this morning

Dozens of customers had already started queuing outside the main Lego store before 9am

Black Friday shoppers flock to Primark in Birmingham – despite the store not officially offering Black Friday discounts

Two women walk past a sign advertising Black Friday sales on Manchester’s Market Street

In the US, Black Friday is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving. The tradition has been extended to the UK by retailers looking for a big shopping spree before the start of December

Shoppers could also be put off spending online in the Black Friday sales as Royal Mail deliveries are hit by strikes by the Communications Workers Union (CWU). Members are in the second day of a 48-hour walkout today amid a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Asked if there would be further strikes ahead of Christmas, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: ‘If we don’t fight back, we can be absolutely certain that our members’ jobs will be destroyed and the service will be destroyed. We have to increase the pressure.’

Courier experts ParcelHero predict families will spend £4bn less on food, gifts and entertainment than last year. But its head of consumer research, David Jinks, added: ‘That doesn’t mean we’re all going to be reduced to Christmas stockings full of walnuts, knitted socks and oranges.

‘There are ways to save enough money for a decent Christmas. Allowing enough time to shop online using free or cheap delivery options can save you pounds, rather than opting for expensive next day deliveries.’

There is also evidence that Britons are increasingly buying used rather than new.

Shoppers could also be put off spending online in the Black Friday sales as Royal Mail deliveries are hit by strikes by the Communications Workers Union (CWU). Pictured: Striking Royal Mail workers gather outside the delivery office in Camden Town on Thursday