As the supply chain gears up for Christmas, there’s another shopping season on the way that logistics operators know about all too well: Black Friday, which occurs at the end of every November. Traditionally only an American shopping day that marks the end of Thanksgiving, the festivities have spread over to the UK in recent years, with Amazon dedicating the entirety of the month last year to the discounts and deals shoppers can get online, culminating on ‘Cyber Monday,’ which this year will fall on November 29th. In 2021, Black Friday will fall on 26th November.
Companies begin preparing for the Q4 festivities as early as Q1. Understandably, in 2014, £810 million was spent in the UK alone during Black Friday. John Lewis celebrated its biggest sales week of all time, ASDA sold over 8000 TVs before breakfast, while GAME was selling PS4s and Xbox One consoles at a rate of 3600 per hour.
With the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers, as well as supply chain issues due to the ripple effect of the pandemic and Brexit, this year looks to be an even trickier period than usual for logistics operators.
Black Friday in 2021
Many believe it is inevitable that the supply chain will struggle to cope due to the usual levels of demand clashing with the new complications faced in a post-pandemic world. However, retailers remain optimistic that this event will be a way to help recoup lost profits from the past 18 months.
One way that the rush can be tackled, according to supply chain experts, is to encourage consumers to spread their shopping out throughout the months.
According to Business Insider, in the US, toys have already been one of the worst impacted categories by supply chain issues. Toymakers have reported millions of dollars’ worth of products being stuck in factories or in containers on ships, unable to get to where they need to be because of shortages and delays in the supply chain network.
If this is an indication of what’s to come in the next two months, it looks like there may be a reduction of choice on shelves during the festive season – not only on Black Friday but further along the line, towards the end of the year, too.
What’s The Solution?
At Barnes Logistics, we’ve written about how the issues in the drivers shortage might best be handled.
There are many ways in which the shortage can be reduced and normal service can continue from 2022, such as drawing younger people to driving by making positions more attractive with attractive wage packets, shortening the lengthy testing process of HGV drivers, and streamlining procedures to get as many workers back on the roads as possible.