Belfast Telegraph

Asda petrol prices cut to 99.7p per litre on Black Friday - first time it's been under £1 in six years

Asda has slashed the price of unleaded petrol to 99.7p per litre - the first time it has fallen to below £1 since 2009.

The supermarket is knocking four pence off a litre of fuel across its 277 petrol stations for three days, and drivers can expect to pay 99.7ppl on unleaded and 103.7ppl on diesel.

It has petrol stations in Newtownards, Ballyclare, Bangor, Downpatrick, Portadown, Cookstown, Coleraine, Omagh, and Enniskillen.

The price drop comes on Black Friday, which Asda said it would not take part in after chaotic and violent scenes in its stores last year.

Asda is owned by US giant Walmart and was one of the original retailers that helped to bring the Black Friday phenomenon from the US to the UK.

The discounts will have added impact following the freeze on fuel duty announced in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

However on Monday, Asda will revert back to its original price of 103.7p on unleaded and 106.7 ppl on diesel.

Edmund King, AA president, warned that a cut in fuel prices beyond Black Friday is what is really needed to help UK drivers.

He said: "Apart from marketing gimmicks, pump prices haven't been below £1 per litre for five and a half years.

"Some drivers may wonder why petrol isn't one pound per litre across the board with oil trading at under 50 US dollars per barrel."

Asda president and CEO, Andy Clarke, said: "The Chancellor's freeze on fuel duty is what our customers were hoping for. We'd urge the Chancellor to continue with a freeze on fuel duty in the March Budget to help maintain discretionary income levels for families."

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "Due to the latest dip in the crude oil price we had predicted that the most price-competitive fuel retailers would soon be selling petrol for £1 so it is great to see that landmark price is now available across the country at the most expensive time of year.

"Even though this promotion only lasts for three days it will help to bring prices down at forecourts nationwide.

"While we are some way from seeing the average petrol price reach £1, prices at more and more retailers should be getting ever closer to that figure."

Black Friday to hit £1 billion

Black Friday is on its way to becoming the biggest online shopping day in UK history as consumers shun the high street in search of bargains on the web.

Online retailers are reporting record-breaking sales from the first few hours of the bonanza making it likely that online retail sales in the UK will surpass £1 billion in one day.

By the end of the day retail analyst Experian-IMRG predicts that spending online will hit £1.07 billion, a 32% increase on last year's £810 million.

But the huge volume of traffic - Ebay is expecting nine million Britons to visit its website today - means that the websites of many retailers are struggling to cope.

Argos was among them with reports that its website has crashed several times and consumers have been confronted with a holding page saying 'Oops...Sorry to hold you up'.

Page load times for the UK retailer exceeded 10 seconds, in stark contrast to the 0.5 second page load time of its competitor Amazon, and beyond the two-second threshold which some analysts say makes consumers impatient and more likely to give up on a purchase.

Frustrated shoppers complained about the Argos website, with one saying on Twitter: "10 min queue online, then it told me 8 days for delivery with no option for 24 hour, and then it crashed."

Another frustrated user tweeted: "shouldn't advertise doing Black Friday if your website can't handle it. Trying to pay and keeps crashing."

Other retailers being singled out on social media for slow websites include fashion hub, Boots, River Island and Debenhams.

Multiple errors on the Tesco website have also been reported, and between 10am and 11am the website slowed to an 8.4 second page load time.

Tesco denied anything was wrong saying on Twitter: "Our website is fully operational. We're very happy with our site speed. Feedback from customers today has been very positive #justsaying."

Online retailer said it had more than half a million users visit its site by 9am having launched sales at midnight, with a surge in traffic at 7am when its hourly deals went live.

The company is predicting at least 250,000 orders by the end of the day with beauty and electrical products such as hair curlers and games consoles proving to be the best selling products so far.

Currys PC World also reported its biggest-ever start to Black Friday with eight sales per second and 30 TVs per minute selling online.

Guy Anker, managing editor of, said: "The benefit of shopping online is it's so much easier to compare deals with a few clicks so they know whether the price after that 20% discount really is the cheapest on the market.

"Let's also remember today is a working day, with millions on office computers or on their smartphones at work able to shop easily and quickly online."

But on the high street and in supermarkets there were no signs of the huge crowds which gathered last year, or the scuffles which broke out as customers fought over big-ticket items.

The Boots flagship store on Sedley Place, central London, was one of a handful of shops which opened extra early, advertising deals on huge posters by the shop entrance.

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