Lockdown Black Friday must be “halted in its tracks” to avoid delivery chaos and £1.3bn loss


Black Friday must be “halted in its tracks” to avoid retailers’ delivery networks completely collapsing under the weight of online orders.

This year’s annual shopping festival, due to take place this Friday and extend throughout the weekend, is expected to rake in a record £8.49 billion.

However, as the England remains in lockdown until December 2, this years Black Friday will take place almost entirely online placing immense pressure on the country’s already overstretched collective delivery network.

“Last year, 387 million of the 462 million Christmas peak deliveries were online shopping orders,” delivery expert ParcelHero’s David Jinks said.

“This year, retailers’ deliveries alone will put an estimated 592 million parcels in the system in the weeks before Christmas. Due to Black Friday, this Mount Everest of Christmas peaks will spike between 27-30 November – still inside the critical lockdown period in England.”

READ MORE: Retailers must think differently this Black Friday to stand out online 

Jinks warns that this could push delivery networks to breaking point, risking a return to the chaos that ensued during the now notorious Black Friday 2014.

That year 45 per cent of shoppers experienced late deliveries or never received their goods at all, 49 per cent missed their deliveries due to overstretched companies’ erratic delivery patterns, while a further 31 per cent experienced fruther problems with their order.

“We believe Black Friday 2020 must either be halted in its tracks or spread through the first two weeks of December to give retailers’ delivery partners a fighting chance,” Jinks added.

Separate data from MRS Digital suggests that hosting Black Friday during lockdown could cost the UK retail industry a total of £1,261,497,936.

According to the company, which based its estimates on the latest ONS data: “If Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland join England in the full national lockdown there is likely to be a deficit of £1.3 billion from the original £6 billion spend estimates”.

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