Experts predict that consumers will spend billions on discounts despite expected shortages. Some major retailers may also avoid the sale as Black Friday officially begins today. 

Accounting specialists Pwc are predicting shopping splurges to double what they were last year when the UK was in lockdown, with up to £9billion expected to be spent across the country amid fire sales today. 

Black Friday is known as the “golden period” for retailers during the holiday season. In recent years, Black Friday sales have surpassed all other Christmas week sales. 

Even though it has been traditionally restricted to November 26, many outlets, including Asda Currys GAME and John Lewis, have a plan for longer sales in 2021. This is despite ongoing supply chain issues that affect stock levels and slow down driver recruitment.   

However, any store expecting an immediate surge on Friday morning was disappointed. Pictures showed a nearly empty Oxford Street in west London and no one queuing up for discounts at Silverlink Retail Park, north Tyneside. 

While 85% of independent retailers say they won’t be participating in Black Friday deals this year, others claim they will protect the High Street following the outbreak.

A very quiet Oxford Street shopping area in west London on Black Friday at 8am, with tube strikes and online sales having a knock-on effect for in-store purchases

On Black Friday, the Oxford Street area of west London was very peaceful. Tube strikes and online sales had a positive effect on in-store shopping

By 10am on Friday morning, shoppers started to arrive in bigger numbers to browse the deals on offer at stores on Oxford Street

Shoppers began to flock to Oxford Street stores at 10 a.m. on Friday to view the specials available there

Accounting specialists Pwc are predicting shopping splurges to double what they were last year when the UK was in lockdown, with up to £8.7billion expected to be spent across the country amid fire sales today

Accounting specialists Pwc are predicting shopping splurges to double what they were last year when the UK was in lockdown, with up to £8.7billion expected to be spent across the country amid fire sales today

Despite advertising big Black Friday sales, several stores in Oxford Street, west London including John Lewis and Primark saw little to no queues on Friday morning

Although they advertised big Black Friday sales many stores, including John Lewis, Primark and Oxford Street in west London, saw few to no lines on Friday morning

Not a single person could be seen queuing as the doors opened at 8am at a Currys electrical store in North Tyneside on Black Friday

No one was seen waiting in line at the Currys North Tyneside electrical store as they opened their doors at 8am on Black Friday

But in Manchester city centre (above), consumers braved a wet and windy start to Friday to queue for Black Friday bargains at Footlocker at around 8am

In Manchester, however (above), customers braved windy Friday mornings to wait in line at Footlocker to get Black Friday bargains.

The scenes in British shops are a far cry from 2014, the year after Asda imported the tradition from the US, when thousands of shoppers camped out overnight and dashed into stores to get their hands on discounted items. Pictured: An empty JD in Oxford Street, west London

These scenes are far removed from 2014. This was the year that Asda brought the American tradition to Britain. Thousands of people rushed into shops in search of bargains. Pictured: A empty JD on Oxford Street in west London

Many businesses have shut down their websites while others give their proceeds to charity in protest against Amazon and other large online sellers.

Black Friday was born in the United States when big companies indulged in large-scale sales ahead of Christmas. The event’s impact on the High Street, which can not compete with rock-bottom pricing, has been heavily criticised.

Dr Jackie Mulligan, who advises on the Government’s High Streets Task Force, says: ‘Black Friday is an American event which has decimated our High Streets and taken away our Christmas spirit.

‘This year of all years it feels especially insulting. Independent retailers really are living on a knife edge after the past year of lockdowns.’

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of Bira, added: ‘At the start of the pandemic, we saw customers turn to online providers because there was no other choice, and the large companies such as Amazon were the big winners.’

This is the Gucci Treasure Hunt! Asda’s Black Friday Bonanza includes designer goods hidden within the aisles. 

ASDA wants to start a Black Friday treasure-hunt today. It is hiding Gucci fashions within its George range.

To attract designers label lovers, the supermarket has placed 30 discounted second-hand pieces from the fashion house within its 50 clothing departments.

With new Gucci styles costing up to £4,000 for a coat and even socks retailing at £145, lucky shoppers could net a special bargain.

Today millions will shop online and rush to UK shops hoping for great discounts.

The Asda offer is linked to a partnership with vintage wholesaler Preloved, where second-hand clothes – including designer labels and sought after sports brands – are resold in an effort to make fashion more sustainable.

This coincides also with Ridley Scott’s House Of Gucci movie, which stars Adam Driver and Lady Gaga.

Asda said: ‘Thirty exclusive pieces will be hidden in stores around the UK, with teasers on social media encouraging customers to hunt through their local Asda for the chance to purchase a piece of designer history for as little as £12. 

“We have some iconic shirts. jackets. and dresses.

Bargains include a £2,000 coat jacket for £25 and an £800 black and purple dress for £15, as well as a leaf print blouse from the Gucci Spring 2009 collection, worth an estimated £400, and a red skirt worth around £700, for which Asda prices have not been revealed.

Steve Lynam (Managing Director of Preloved) said that he was delighted to give Preloved customers the opportunity of purchasing something they always wanted in their local store. 

Black Friday has become a largely online event in the UK.

Retail analysts believe that there will still be approximately 20% more people today than one week ago. 

Direct Line is predicting spending of £12billion on 30million items.

This is a stark contrast to 2014, which was the year Asda introduced the custom from the US. In that year, thousands of Americans gathered overnight to rush to the shops in search of discounted merchandise. 

Asda partners with Gucci, a luxury fashion house to offer huge discounts in select stores.

Lucky shoppers will have the opportunity to buy one of the 30 vintage pieces of House of Gucci today at an incredible discount, in conjunction with the movie’s release in cinemas. 

Lauren Mallins from George at Asda said: ‘Whether you are a lover of vintage or just want to make more sustainable choices, our hand-picked PreLoved pieces are always a treasure trove of gems and now Gucci is adding to our customers’ reasons to shop with us.’ 

Amanda McCourt runs Pantee, a sustainable brand of underwear. She said she and Katie will close the website temporarily to allow members only access.

She said: ‘Black Friday was never something we were going to get into. Our brand is all about sustainability which is why we decided to come up with Black Out Friday instead.’ Katie and Amanda set up Pantee in February during lockdown.

Amanda, 29, says: ‘Our mum was always very sustainable so we’ve always been conscious of what we buy. I was never somebody who would have indulged massively in Black Friday sales.’

Artist Sarah Hamilton, who runs independent retailer campaign group Just A Card, said: ‘Every single sale counts for a small business. I just want shoppers to know that even the smallest purchase can make a big difference.’

Westfield Shopping Centre in White City (west London) said it anticipated a surge of footfall on Black Friday. The numbers will return to approximately 80% pre-Covid levels in 2019. This was when thousands of shoppers visited the mall.

Scott Parsons, chief operating officer at Westfield’s, told MailOnline: ‘Although there isn’t a major focus on Black Friday activity at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City, this date usually marks the start of the Christmas shopping season for our retailers. 

‘In addition to offers and events; brands that have invested in experience-led retail such as new technologies, personalised services and gamified shopping experiences, are also expected to perform well with 81% of consumers telling us they’re willing to pay more for this kind of experience.

‘At our centres we are seeing positive track at around 80% of 2019 which means that there will certainly be a buzz this weekend. However, thanks to the sheer size of our centres plus the extensive outdoor dining including the Winter Chalets Igloos, visitors can enjoy an enjoyable and safe day out. 

Westfield shopping centre in White City, west London, said it was predicting a surge in footfall on Black Friday. Pictured: Queues for Zara at Westfield London on Black Friday morning

Westfield, a shopping mall in White City west London, stated that they were expecting a high footfall on Black Friday. Pictured: Black Friday, Queues at Westfield London for Zara

Tube strikes, lingering supply chain concerns affecting stock levels and delivery driver recruitment stalling means Black Friday sales could look very different in 2021. Pictured: An empty H&M store in Oxford Street, west London on Friday

Tube strikes, lingering supply chain concerns affecting stock levels and delivery driver recruitment stalling means Black Friday sales could look very different in 2021. Pictured: An empty H&M store in Oxford Street, west London on Friday

Long lines of shoppers wait outside the Zara store in Westfield Shopping Centre, London on Black Friday

The Zara shop in Westfield Shopping Centre is packed with shoppers on Black Friday.

Young shoppers eagerly queue outside of a JD Sports store in Newcastle on Friday morning as they prepare to bag a bargain in the Black Friday event

On Friday morning, eager shoppers waited in line outside JD Sports Newcastle to get a Black Friday deal.

As consumers continue to shift towards online shopping, footfall on the high streets has been severely affected in recent years. With thousands of products and services available just a few clicks away, it is easy for them to get their goods.

This trend is expected to continue, combined with worries about Covid-19, and shoppers will again opt for online deals in 2021.

Amazon cut hundreds of prices this month during what’s now known as ‘Black Friday Week’. The American giant sold a number of top-selling products last year, including electric razors, hoovers, mascara, Alexa devices, Fire Sticks and makeup.

However, some stores such as Next and Marks and Spencer have declined to participate in Black Friday sales this year and instead offer value and savings throughout the year.  

John Lewis trading operations director Jon Williams stated that John Lewis anticipates spending returning to pre-pandemic levels. Sales have been increasing by 40 percent week-on–week. 

Analysis from global consultancy firm Simon-Kucher & Partners confirms these predictions, with more than half of UK shoppers admitting they were going to buy something on Black Friday, with the average spend seen in Britain likely to hit around £214.  

KPMG analysts Linda Ellett head of consumer market at KPMG warned that supply chain issues, shortages of drivers and seasonal workers, and lingering supply chains could impact deals.

She stated to the BBC that rising prices are starting to impact margins and supply chain problems, affecting the availability of goods. This leaves little space for massive discounting events as we have witnessed in past years.

AO World was an early electrical retailer that secured 500 more drivers to sell Black Friday merchandise. But, they acknowledged that they still struggle to purchase gaming stock because of a shortage in microchips. 

Which? Magazine, an expert consumer magazine, published the following warning: According to Which?, 99.5 percent of Black Friday “deals” were cheaper or more expensive than the prices in six months preceding the event.

Black Friday is now eco mob: XR activists lock their doors to bamboo towers, scaffolding and blockade 13 Amazon warehouses in the UK 

Rory Tingle is the MailOnline Home Affairs Correspondent 

Black Friday shoppers have been targeted by the Extinction Rebellion mobs, who block roads that lead to Amazon fulfilment centers in more than 12 countries. 

Photographs showed activists sitting outside warehouses in bamboo towers. This prevented vans from entering the US giant’s busiest days of the year.  

Around 20 protestors gathered outside Amazon Distribution Centre in Dunfermline at 4 am. This is the largest distribution center in the UK. 

One of the thirteen sites that were targeted was Dartford. Protesters had a sign saying “Black Friday exploits people, planet”. In Peterborough, however, it said “infinite growth hurts planet”. 

Manchester, XR has strewn objects along Sunbank Lane close to Manchester Airport in an attempt to slow traffic. 

Others sites blocked include those in Doncaster and Darlington as well as ones in Derby, Coventry. Rugeley. Bristol. Tilbury. Milton Keynes.  

PETERBOROUGH: Extinction Rebellion activists block a street leading out of an Amazon fulfilment centre in Peterborough with bamboo structures and banners

PETERBOROUGH – Extinction Rebellion activists blockade a street that leads to an Amazon fulfillment centre in Peterborough, with banners and bamboo structures

MANCHESTER: In Manchester, XR have strewn items along Sunbank Lane near Manchester Airport in order to stop traffic

MANCHESTER: In Manchester, XR have strewn items along Sunbank Lane near Manchester Airport in order to stop traffic 

BRISTOL: Protesters arrived at the distribution centre in Avonmouth at 4am and "locked on" to bamboo towers and scaffolding structures

BRISTOL: Protesters arrived at the distribution centre in Avonmouth at 4am and “locked on” to bamboo towers and scaffolding structures

DUNFERMLINE: The protests started at 4am with about 20 activists gathering outside Amazon's largest UK distribution centre

DUNFERMLINE: The protests started at 4am with about 20 activists gathering outside Amazon’s largest UK distribution centre

DARLINGTON: Protesters have been using bamboo frames as they take a long time for police to dismantle

DARLINGTON: Protesters have been using bamboo frames as they take a long time for police to dismantle 

Placards and ‘lock-on’ placards were used by protesters to stop lorries from entering and leaving the Scottish site.

Meg Paton Jones (XR spokesperson) stated: ‘The police are monitoring us with one van.

“We arrived at the site around 4:00 AM, and are not blocking any employees from parking so they can go to their night shifts.

“We are a family that loves music and good vibes.”

A spokesperson for XR said that the action was intended to raise awareness about Amazon’s unethical and destructive business practices. It also disregards workers rights to maximize company profits.

XR has taken an international strike against Amazon Fulfillment Centres in 15 countries, including the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands. This was done to raise awareness about Amazon’s alleged ‘crimes.

“This solidarity is being shown with workers and activists from the Make Amazon Pay global campaign. They are demanding improved working conditions and clear environmental commitments and that Amazon pay their fair share in tax.

Amazon continues to lobby US to combat climate legislation and tells the public it is committed to green initiatives.

They are guilty of the most basic form of greenwash.

Eleanor Harris of Glasgow was a protester and stated that it is crucial to shift economics towards a model that values wellbeing, sustainability, over profit.

“The age of exploitative, throwaway capitalism is over,” said the author. This could be achieved by either adapting to the current challenges or by the destruction and loss of global habitats.

XR demonstrate outside an Amazon warehouse at Manchester Airport, blocking Sunnybank Lane, that leads to the warehouse

XR displays outside an Amazon warehouse located at Manchester Airport. Sunnybank Lane leads to the warehouse.

XR - seen in Darlington this morning - have vowed to mount the largest ever climate change campaign next April

Darlington’s XR, seen this morning, have pledged to organize the largest climate change campaign ever next April 

XR's spokesperson at the Dunfermline blockade, Meg Paton-Jones, said: 'The police have one van on site and they are watching us'

Meg Paton Jones (XR spokesperson) stated that the police had one van at Dunfermline and were watching us.

Amazon has published a commitment to reach net-zero carbon across the business by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Today - in Dunfermline - protesters accused it of 'greenwashing'

Amazon, 10 years before the Paris Agreement, has committed to reaching net-zero emissions across its business by 2040. Today – in Dunfermline – protesters accused it of ‘greenwashing’ 

Maciej Walczuk (19 years old) said, “We must recognize that consumption in North America is largely based on the exploitation by the working class and global south. While companies such as Amazon can make huge profits and worsen the environment and ecological crisis, they do so while making enormous profit.

“We need to create a new system which respects the environment and people, rather than blindly looking for profit.

XR South East UK tweeted that ‘Extinction Rebellion blockedade #AMAZON fulfilment centers across the UK & Europe on #BlackFriday, holding them accountable for any damage they cause to #PeopleAndPlanet. #InfiniteGrowthFinitePlanet.’

However, social media users were furious and one tweeted: “I agree with saving the environment…but I need your support to get my government to take care of it.” 

“Blocking roads is annoying to people and can cause you to lose the trust of the public, especially the ones who work for your taxes. 

PETERBOROUGH: XR activists placed a sign along the road saying 'infinite growth finite planet'. Protesters use bamboo structures because they take time for the police to dismantle

PETERBOROUGH – XR activists put a sign on the road that said ‘infinite development finite planet’. Bamboo structures are used by protesters because it takes time for police to remove them 

Each of the bamboo structures (including this one in Peterborough) had someone sitting inside

They are designed to be as difficult to dismantle as possible

PETERBOROUGH – Each bamboo structure (including the one here in Peterborough), had someone sitting inside. These structures are made to be difficult to remove. 

MANCHESTER: A protester sitting on top of a wooden box in front of an Amazon fulfilment centre at Manchester Airport

MANCHESTER: Protester standing on the top of a box made of wood in front of an Amazon fulfillment centre at Manchester Airport 

MANCHESTER: Activists held up a banner saying infinite growth finite planet' - a common phrase repeated by the likes of Greta Thunberg

MANCHESTER. Activists held up banners that read “Infinite growth, finite planet” — a phrase used often by Greta Thnberg. 

Amazon published an announcement committing to achieve net-zero carbon within the company by 2040. This is 10 years earlier than the Paris Agreement.  

Earlier in the month, XR promised to mobilize 2 million people to protest against what it calls the “largest act of civil resistance in UK History” in April 2019.

Today, after having criticised this month’s climate summit for not going far enough to address the crisis, an environmental group pledged the support.

According to the group, the numbers of protestors participating in demonstrations has declined during the pandemic. However, they hope to have record numbers by 2022.

Nuala Gathercole Lam, spokesperson for XR, calls for action in a video that draws from images of Martin Luther King and the Suffragettes.

“This is the only way to go. Let’s do what works – prolonged, disruptive, non-violent civil resistance.’

XR is vowing 'the largest act of climate resistance' in April next year. Pictured: Protester Diana Warner glues her hand to a train as demonstrators block traffic at Canary Wharf Station on April 25, 2019

XR has promised to perform ‘the biggest act of climate resistance’ next April. Pictured: Diana Warner, a protester glues her hand onto a train while demonstrators block traffic at Canary Wharf Station. April 25, 2019,

XR cites research from Harvard University that shows movements with at least 3.5 percent of their population engaged in a ‘active way’ have ‘never failed’ to effect significant social or political change.

This group claims that 3.5% of UK citizens is equivalent to 2.33 million people. They have set themselves the objective of recruiting them for their campaign in 2022.

XR is certain that if they achieve this target, their April protests will be ‘the greatest act of civil resistive action in UK history. It appealed for the public to support its cause. 

Nuala Gathercole Lam, spokesperson for the Group said: “While our 2019 mass participation campaigns played a significant part in pushing forward the recognition and severity of climate change and the ecological crisis, XR has not brought the government to the right actions necessary to cut emissions and restore biodiversity.”

“That’s why, in 2022, we will work to expand our ranks and create designs for civil resistance camps. The first will be held in April 2022.

“Our mobilization program will continue building numbers throughout the year with an aim to achieve XR’s 3 demands.

‘The failure of COP26, and indeed the COP process generally, is devastating but not surprising – it is clearer than ever now that it’s up to all of us.’

Extinction Rebellion organized several disruptions in London starting Monday, April 15th 2019. They targeted popular areas such as Oxford Circus or Waterloo Bridge.

By gluing themselves onto trains, activists not only disrupted commuters but also caused serious delays to the transport system.