Black Friday Spending Rises while Cyber Monday Drops

  • Spending surge by teenagers on Black Friday Week
  • 18% increase in monthly spend for November compared to 2020

Bank of Ireland debit and credit card analysis for Black Friday week (22 – 29 November containing both Black Friday and Cyber Monday) revealed Black Friday (Nov. 26th) to be the busiest spending day, with the Bank recording more than 1.1 million point of sale contactless transactions. Consumers appeared keener to splash out this year compared to Black Friday in 2020 – with a 9% spending increase recorded.

In contrast consumer spending on Cyber Monday (November 29th) ranked in the bottom half of daily debit and credit card activity that week – indicating that consumers were largely satisfied at the end of a long week of online sales, discounts and one-off specials. Overall Retail spending only rose by 3% during Black Friday week compared to 2020, with Bank of Ireland data analysis showing that spending on electrical goods dropped by 30%.

Teenagers (13 – 17 year olds), renowned for their love of a bargain, recorded a massive spending surge of 204% during Black Friday week. No other age category came close in the period, with outlay amongst 18 – 25 year olds rising by 25% and amongst 26 – 35 year olds by 14%. In stark contrast to other months when older consumers led the spending pack, 46 – 55 year old spend up just 10% and also only 10% amongst the 56 – 65 year olds.

Nationwide spending was healthy as all counties ticked upwards. The total Black Friday weekly spend rose the most in Wexford (+16%), followed by Cavan, Kildare and Laois (all +15%). Consumer activity in Monaghan rose by 13%, while Cork, Limerick and Mayo all recorded 12% increases. Longford residents appeared to have either most of their shopping done already or weren’t lured in by the sales – with residents there recording the lowest comparative spend of just +5%.

Overall November social spending was much stronger with steep rises recorded across the sector, with pub spending up a massive 746% when compared to the same month in 2020 when ‘wet pubs’ weren’t open. Restaurants witnessed an overall monthly hike of 145%, while the fast-food sector was no slouch either posting an increase of 48%.

Commenting on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekly spending patterns, John O’Beirne, Director of Business Banking at Bank of Ireland said: “November is always a busy time for spending but the data paints a mixed picture. People are still keen on enjoying a nice family meal or a few drinks with friends, as social spending increased during the time period. And perhaps that is reflective of the changes society has undergone in the past 18 months, where many people now treasure their social connections rather than buying new gadgets or the latest tech items.

Our Black Friday week data shows that many consumers decided they had what they needed by the end of the week, and Cyber Monday was actually down on last year. As we head into the busy Christmas season it will be interesting to review the next round of spending data – consumers appear to know exactly what it is they want (and what they don’t) – and we’ll have to see if this pattern establishes itself further in the weeks to come.”

BoI debit and credit card transactions – November 2021 vs. November 2020


  • Transport +152%
  • Restaurants +145%
  • Clothing +27%
  • Groceries +1%


  • Charity -33%
  • Electrical Goods -28%
  • Office Equipment -26%
  • Education -13%