An Ipswich-based coffee business says it is boycotting Black Friday in protest against the consumer frenzy it unleashes.

Paddy & Scott's boss Jon Reed said it had decided to take a stand and close its online shop from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (November 25 to 28) and free up its team to work for local charities in the local community.

The Suffolk brand has criticised the retail event in which prices are temporarily slashed for promoting huge discounts and encouraging consumers "to spend money on stuff they don’t necessarily need or want".

"We have dipped our toe in the Black Friday waters before, but just found it to be a highly charged frenzy designed to encourage consumers to spend money they don’t have on consuming stuff they probably don’t need or want," explained Mr Reed.

"At a time when countless people around the UK are struggling to pay their heating bills, this period of online supermarket sweep, doesn’t really connect with our moral compass.

"Nor does the trend of pushing up prices, only to apply false discounts for the duration of Black Friday weekend."

Black Friday has come under fire from a number of quarters for hitting independents.

Government High Streets Task Force expert and ShopAppy founder Dr Jackie Mulligan described it as "the Grinch that stole Christmas" for many smaller retailers.

"While the Autumn Statement provided some much needed rate relief, small independent retailers are still swimming upstream, something made worse by the online giants promoting Black Friday deals like a grinch stealing local shop sales," she said.

Paddy & Scott’s said it was gearing up for a four day black-out online. Employees will instead be offered the chance to help four local charities and enterprises that have been selected by the team - Suffolk Libraries, Little Lifts, Rural Coffee Caravan and St Helena Hospice. 

"We could have just sat it out, and carried on trading as normal, but we wanted to make a stand and give our team the chance to invest their efforts in making a real difference," said Mr Reed.

While the online shop will close, the business's coffee shops will stay open over the period, he added.

"It is risky shutting down the website for four days, but it will give us a chance to shine the light on something more positive and support local enterprises like Rural Coffee Caravan, who help rurally isolated people in Suffolk access health and wellbeing services and Little Lifts that provide free gift boxes to breast cancer patients receiving treatment."

The throwaway culture Black Friday encouraged wasn't good for the planet, people or small businesses, he said.