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UK retailers face delivery disruptions following Black Friday

By Vivian Hendriksz


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A slew of UK retailers including Amazon, Debenhams, River Island and Shop Direct have stepped forward and admitted the shopping bonanza Black Friday has left them struggling to maintain deliveries in the lead up to Christmas.

The spike in demand during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which occurred on November 28 through to December 1, has caused a series of issues within retailers delivery networks leaving frustrated customers awaiting for their items weeks later.

UK retailers struggle to keep up with delivery demands following Black Friday

With Black Friday quickly becoming the busiest day on record for online giant Amazon UK as sales surpassed all expectations, the company is struggling to fulfill orders for customers who placed orders through the Next Day Prime delivery service due to the number of orders placed on the day itself.

Amazon UK reported recored orders of over 5.5 million goods, with approximately 64 items sold per second on the day itself. Some customers have also been told via email that their order was undeliverable, due to limited stock.

Over on the high street, British department store group Debenhams previously stated that they had resolved all delivery issues which arose during its promotional weekend which throughout Black Friday. A Debenhams spokeswoman told Retail Week: “A limited number of standard deliveries were impacted but normal service has resumed today. All of our other new delivery services – including next day to home and next day click-and-collect – have been unaffected and have been operating as usual throughout.”

However considering the number of complaints regarding delayed shipping or missing items from disappointed customers on Debenhams Facebook page and Twitter, it would seem as if the group is still working on resolving its deliveries issues.

One customer posted the following message to Debenhams official Facebook page earlier this morning: “I have been waiting 9 days for my order. Please confirm where it is. Thought you were meant to be a reliable department store?”

Another frustrated customer also left a complaint on their page today: “What's the point in paying for next day delivery? None at all it would seem! Even posting on here does not get a reply as to why an order has not arrived. Lo and behold the courier attempts to deliver my order when everyone is back at work!!! That's the reason I paid for next day delivery!!! At least have the decency to reply to posts or answer your phone customer services!! I will not order online again with Debenhams!”

And yet another disgruntled shopper wrote: “Would you please step up and reply to me and the other thousands of people on their delayed orders??? Awful service!!!!!” Her complaint has received a response from the group's customer service apologizing for the delay and requesting that she sends over her order number, billing and email address.

River Island, Very.co.uk and Littlewoods have issued apologies for delayed deliveries on Twitter as well, which came about as a result of Black Friday. A Shop Direct spokeswoman stated that the online retailer adjusted its delivery policy on the Thursday before Black Friday, extending it from 24 to 48 hours on Black Friday and then to 72 hours on the following day to keep up with demand.

Amazon UK