UK Black Friday shopper traffic up 3.7% - Sensormatic

Shoppers head to the Black Friday sales in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Black Friday shopper numbers across Britain rose 3.7% year-on-year, according to data from Sensormatic Solutions, providing some relief to the country's beleaguered retailers.

The increase was driven by high streets, where footfall was up 13.9% year-on-year.

However, shopper numbers on Black Friday were still down 21.3% on pre-pandemic levels, Sensormatic said.

Separate data from Barclaycard Payments showed the volume of Black Friday payment transactions rose 3.2% compared to 2021.

Britain's retailers were hoping Black Friday would get shoppers spending, though it took place against a backdrop of a worsening cost-of-living crisis and the distraction of the soccer World Cup, with both Wales and England in action on Friday.

Retailers across Europe fear the overall holiday trading season could be the worst in at least a decade as shoppers cut back, while the costs of doing business increases, squeezing profit margins.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mike Harrison)