Dec 3, 2020
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UK's Black Friday week lags forecasts - IMRG

Dec 3, 2020

​Good but not spectacular. UK online retail sales across the Black Friday weekend were “very strong” this year, although they failed to match forecasts in spite of England being confined to lockdown shopping, IMRG data showed Thursday.

Online shopping soared but not by as much as expected in Britain's Black Friday Week

Business was up 38% year-on-year while sales across the full eight-day shopping period (23-30 November) rose 30%. Despite fears of a system overload, the supply chain across the period held up well, it noted.

Although the week-long figure fell short of IMRG’s +35%-45% forecast it still “represents massive growth on what was already huge volumes across that week”, it said. 

However, it noted the national lockdown in England was likely to have pulled sales volumes forward. Its figures show the first three weeks of November all secured growth rates in the +56%-61% range.

Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight director for IMRG said: “Generally speaking, the patterns of demand we’ve seen across the whole year were maintained during the Black Friday peak.

“With all that additional traffic to sites, we might have expected them to buckle under the strain a bit more but actually they seemed to hold up quite well”.

He added: “Now the operational focus is very much on delivery – the carriers have had to deal with huge volumes for most of the year, but the week following the Black Friday weekend is when it reaches a peak.

“Things seem to be holding up ok at the moment; if they get through the next few weeks without significant disruption to customer deliveries it will be a testament to their planning and execution”.

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