Black Friday propels transactions but results in costly returns

  • Currently UK consumers spend more than £19,000 every day on credit, debit, and charge cards. This is set to increase tenfold on Black Friday, where it’s predicted sales will exceed £1.9billion in a single day.

    However, while transactions are set to peak on 27 November, the impulsive nature of Black Friday spending goes hand-in-hand with the inevitability of high return rates. These returns will hit retailers’ stock rooms during the intensive build up to Christmas, resulting in logistical issues, such as time delays – averaging 15 – 21 days – between sale and return.  Inventory caught in the ‘returns loop’ can also cause issues with product availability due to the delay in processing returned goods.

    To add to this, in-store staff are tactically focussed on pushing out products during the peak in customer expenditure as the Christmas gift-buying season approaches, meaning that returned stock from Black Friday remains unprocessed in store rooms. By the time the returned goods are processed and replenished on store shelves, retailers will be hitting January sales where prices are slashed even further, with even smaller margins.

    Although returns are inevitable following the rush in cut-price buying on Black Friday, streamlined returns intelligence can limit the negative impact they can have on businesses and help retailers to learn from past mishaps to boost future demand.


    -  Vicky Brock, CEO and Founder, Clear Returns