FRIDAY FRENZY Black Friday £2million-a-minute spending spree as shoppers QUEUE to go on Currys and Boots websites and PayPal crashes

thesun– Thousands of customers have been queuing to get on Boots and Cult Beauty’s websites, while others struggled to get onto Curry’s PC World.

Lego fans have also been complaining on social media about large queues to enter the Black Friday sale on its website.

The popular Nintendo Switch console sold out in minutes on Aldi when it went live last night.

While other bargain hunters rushed to snap up stock when it was sold eBay.

The rush for the Nintendo Switch came after the console was discounted from £279.99 to £229.99.

Experts blame shops’ lockdown causing a huge spike in web demand across Black Friday sales as a whole – 70% bigger than last year’s Black Friday.

Nationwide has reported 2.3million transactions already, as of lunchtime today, while eBay said it has sold two items every second.

It comes after last week’s launch of PlayStation5 – just one product – saw Currys forced to implement a queue to access its website, and John Lewis, Tesco and GAME’s websites would not load.

But it was a different picture for physical stores in England, with pictures showing Lakeside shopping centre empty on Black Friday. The shopping centre is partially open, with only essential retailers open.

However, shoppers have been seen queuing outside Primark in Cardiff, where non-essential shops are allowed to stay open.

Today’s £1.93billion web blowout works out at £2.01m-a-minute over the 16 hours most people are awake.

This is up on the previous record £1.56m-a-minute set on last year’s Cyber Monday, a study with the Centre for Retail Research showed.

Nationwide has reported 2.3million transactions already, as of lunchtime today, while eBay said it has sold two items every second.

Over the entire weekend, shoppers are expected to splash £7.5billion online and on the high street.

It comes as this year’s Black Friday sales started earlier than ever before with some experts renaming this month “Black November”.

Amazon was one of the first to start its sales, having launched its deals one month ago.

But several retailers have ditched the sales bonanza altogether this year, including B&M, Next, M&S and Wilko, in an attempt to stop crowds.

Sales across physical shops over the weekend are expected to be down by 63.7% on last year – from £4.79billion to £1.74billion – due to on-going coronavirus restrictions keeping shops shut.

Research by e-commerce platform EKM has projected that online Black Friday sales will be 53% higher this year.

Online marketplace eBay has said it expects a surge of sales as people continue to complete their Christmas shopping early.

Murray Lambell, general manager of eBay UK, said: “This year, the country will experience its biggest Black Friday yet with people across the UK gearing up to take advantage of the incredible deals eBay has on offer to save on Christmas shopping and shop ahead where they can.

“We predict online baskets will be filled with items such as gym equipment, toys and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy as we stay home more and put an increased focus on keeping our minds and bodies healthy.”

However, analysts at EY said that early Christmas shopping and restrictions have impacted the importance of the sales event.

Silvia Rindone, EY UK & Ireland retail partner, said: “Once a big event for the retail industry, the reality is that Black Friday’s significance has diminished.

“This year, retailers have brought offers forward due to the national restrictions put in place earlier this month so it’s unlikely there will be significant new discounts this week.

“Now, retailers need to look beyond festive deals in order to aim for recovery and a positive start to 2021.

“What would have been a 10-year transition from physical to online sales has happened in less than a year, and retailers need to understand and adapt to likely permanent shifts in consumer behaviour.”

It comes on the same day that Philip Green’s TopShop empire Arcadia is said to be facing administration in the coming days.

Keep an eye on our Black Friday page where we’ll be updating you with the best bargains today, tomorrow and over the weekend.

Plus, here are our tips on how to beat bad bargains with out top tips and tools.

We’ve previously revealed how prices could be cheaper before Black Friday.

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