Black Friday

With six months to go until Black Friday, retailers have been warned to prepare for chaos.

More than £1.3bn was splashed by consumers on Black Friday and a further £600m on Cyber Monday in 2014, creating a sales bonanza.

But in a less welcome development, customers wrestled over bargains in stores while retailer websites crashed under the weight of demand.

It also led to a huge amount of pressure on the supply chain and subsequent delays to deliveries. “Black Friday is a phenomenon,” said Wincanton retail MD Liam McElroy. “A lot of retailers were caught by surprise last year and need to implement robust systems this year.”

In February, Boston Consulting Group said 66% of consumers had done their Christmas shopping on Black Friday in 2014.

“Retailers need to ensure fulfilment can match demand,” said a spokesman for global courier Fastlane International. “By staggering offers over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, the logistics bottleneck will be eased and savvy customers will still get bargain online prices.”