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More than a fifth of people are considering taking a sick day to take advantage of the discount-shopping phenomenon known as Black Friday, a survey suggests.

Employers have been warned to expect a drop in productivity as staff take the day off this Friday or spend hours at their desks searching for bargains online. Shoppers have been told to expect long queues to collect parcels if they are not home for deliveries.

Estimates from VISA suggest there could be a record £1.9billion of purchases on Friday with the debit and credit card group predicting rush online before people go to work and then a crush in the shops at lunchtime. There could also be chaos on the roads as delivery companies struggle to fulfil internet orders.

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