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Black Friday bedlam 'will grow by a third'

Published: 28 October 2015

Leading global information services provider Experian is warning that while last year's Black Friday madness overwhelmed some delivery operations, this year's follow-up will be even more challenging.

Black Friday bedlam 'will grow by a third'

Experian, in conjunction with IMRG, says retailers should be ready for a rise of almost a third in spending on November 27, to £1.07bn - the first time ever that UK online retail sales exceed £1bn in a single day.

And that's only one part of the picture. With increased consumer awareness of discounting by retailers before Christmas, shoppers are forecast to up their spend on other big pre-Christmas days.

Experian-IMRG 2015 spend predictions are:

· Black Friday (November 27) - £1.07bn, up 32% year-on-year (yoy)
· Cyber Monday (November 30) - £943m, up 31% yoy
· Manic Monday (December 7) - £733m, up 10% yoy
· Christmas Day (December 25) - £728m, up 11% yoy

Boxing Day and New Year's Day are also expected to see large increases in spending.

· Boxing Day (December 26) - £856m, up 22% yoy
· New Year's Day (January 1) - £638m, up 33% yoy

IMRG managing director Justin Opie said: "The size and scale of Black Friday 2014 took everyone by surprise, overwhelming some carrier and retailer operations, as order volumes came in at a full 30% higher than expectation.

"All the indicators point to a much larger Black Friday this year - both in terms of greater numbers of retailers taking part and growing shopper interest - so the opportunity is vast, but there are many things to consider if it is to be managed efficiently and effectively.

"The first is that we expect Black Friday to become the 'Black Friday period' for some retailers, who will run campaigns over several days or even weeks. Also, last year anticipation of Black Friday led to a slow start to the Christmas shopping season and panic-discounting by some, which impacted on profit margins. So the availability and rate of discounts will need to be rationalised this year for it to be sustainable."

He added that it was also important to ensure that customers get the delivery experience they had been promised.

"Retailers should remember that many shoppers will be happy to wait longer than normal to have their orders delivered if it's still several weeks until Christmas Day. This will help to ease the strain on fulfilment operations, should bottlenecks occur, but the most important thing is that customers know when to expect their delivery to arrive."

Research by Experian has also identified the two different consumer groups driving the growth in festive spending. Last year, the majority of shoppers in the early-season Black Friday sales period were found to be living outside the major city centres in more rural locations. As a result, added emphasis needs to be placed on logistical planning and delivery services.

In contrast, Boxing Day and New Year's Day bargain hunters are more likely to be younger, urban consumers who require more support and service in-store.


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