Last year Black Friday created a home delivery bottleneck and saw some companies run out of stock. David Jinks at Fastlane says spreading deals over the week will bust the Black Friday log jam.
Last year bargain-conscious Black Friday shoppers spent $1.33bn in the US and £810bn online in the UK alone. However, actually delivering the orders proved a tough challenge for some major retailers and small traders. The the move by many retailers to make Black Friday a week-long event this year may seem odd, but will help bust the Black Friday jam.
In 2014, companies such as Amazon, Ao.com, River Island, Currys-PC World, Shop Direct and Debenhams all admitted to disruption to their delivery networks in fulfilling the record amount of orders. Systems are inevitable strained by such a huge artificial spike in demand at the beginning of the Christmas sales period.’
No retailer, large or small wants to suffer the same logistics issues again. Of course Asda has opted out of Black Friday completely this year. However companies such as Amazon, Currys, Boots and eBay have found another way to beat the bottleneck. They are already underway with their Black Friday offers this year! Argos actually launched its Black Friday deals on Saturday, and demand was so strong its site crashed for a short while, so there is a consumer appetite for a longer sales period.’
Do retailers want to suffer the same experience this year? Not in a month of Sundays – or at least a week of Black Fridays. The backlog had a big impact on some retailers. Last year Reuters revealed Marks & Spencer’s was unable to cope with a surge of orders around its Black Friday promotion, and had to cancel its next day delivery service for a period of time. Black Friday created problems with demand on its website and teething troubles with its new distribution centre at Castle Donnington in central England. And it was by no means alone in struggling to keep up with Black Friday demand.’
IMRG research indicates 31% of us like the idea of Black Friday sales, and 1 in 5 of us shopped on the day last year, with that expected to rise to 30% this year. But having all these products moving at the same time caused warehousing, web and final delivery issues last year, as well as creating needless congestion with that amount of home deliveries packed into a few days. It might indeed seem strange that Black Friday lasts a week, but if it helps break the log jam, it makes sense in the end. As low cost international delivery experts serving both everyday people and businesses, we are pleased to see retailers have listened to their delivery partners and distribution centre staff.’
By David Jinks
Head of Public Relations
For full details of which retailers have started their sales early, who is holding on until Friday, and who has abandoned the day completely this year, can be found here.