Some further thoughts on Black Friday, as it has become a disruptive event:
- The spike in sales was unprecedented, as shown by John Lewis and the figure below (courtesy of @neilretail). This cascaded into problems with store service and then other problems for retailers in coping with and meeting the demand, at the time and beyond.
- So many products were bought on Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday, that the surge in internet sales has caused delivery companies to crumble under the pressure – Yodel, M&S and others have warned of long delays in delivering orders. So much for learning from the past and preparing for the worst/best.
- And what did all this do for retailer business? With so much sold, and probably at a lower than desired margin, profitability will have taken a hit. Worse, consumers are now factoring in their ability to extract discounts before, during and after the key Festive season. There could be casualties.
- Finally, there’s the returns. With sales so high, so too it seems that returns are at a record high. People returned Black Friday and Cyber Monday goods, and of course the internet encourages this practice. So we went from Black Friday to Blue Wednesday (colour scheme courtesy of @oxondon), the day retailers received the most returns and fully realised the monster they had unleashed.