Europe's retailers are hoping Black Friday discount day will get shoppers spending, though it is taking place against a backdrop of a worsening cost-of-living crisis and the distraction of the soccer World Cup.
Retailers across Europe fear the overall Christmas trading season could be the worst in at least a decade as shoppers cut back, while the costs of doing business show no sign of abating, squeezing profit margins.
Double-digit inflation has dented consumers' purchasing power and their confidence is also at or close to the gloomiest on record as soaring energy bills add to the spiralling cost of living.
But to help budget their finances, consumers have begun their Christmas shopping early this year and many still look set to shop on Black Friday.
Some consumers may, however, have other priorities, with Wales, England, the Netherlands and Poland all in action on Friday at the World Cup.
Britons will spend 8.7 billion pounds ($10.5 billion) over the Black Friday weekend (Nov. 25 to Nov. 28), according to research by GlobalData for VoucherCodes - up 0.8% year-on-year but masking a big drop in volumes once inflation is accounted for.
As of 1000 GMT, Barclaycard Payments, which processes 1 pound ($1.21) in every three pounds spent in the UK, had seen a volume of payments broadly in line with 2021, it said.