Nov 26, 2019
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Debenhams ups the ante on Black Friday, expects 180 online orders per minute

Nov 26, 2019

Debenhams is expecting Black Friday to be 800% bigger than a regular Friday as it launches thousands of deals ahead of the one of the biggest shopping events of the year.


The British retailer said it aims to deliver “thoughtful gifting for everyone” with the launch of £270 million worth of bargains from Monday 25 November through Friday 29 November.

The company is preparing to welcome 18 million visitors for the event, both in-store and online. 250 orders will be placed per minute at peak times, which is expected to be at 9-10pm on Friday. On average, the site will receive 180 orders per minute.

To support this expected surge in sales, the department store has hired around 7,000 new store staff, while over 500 colleagues from headquarters are being drafted in to help at stores around the country. Additionally, 1,000 new employees have started at the warehouses at Peterborough and Sherburn.

Whilst the retailer is slashing prices across most categories, including discounts on its exclusive designer and branded fashion, fragrance is expected to dominate sales. £1 out of every £5 spent at Debenhams on Black Friday will be on this category as customers rush to snap up designer fragrances at VAT-free prices.

It’s clear Debenhams will be trying to reactivate sales after a rocky year. The retail chain has yet to release its half year results, but management has been trying to deliver a turnaround for some time.

The Black Friday extravaganza is only possible thanks to a £50 million loan the retailer secured with some of its existing lenders last month. The cash injection is helping the company get product on its shelves in what it is expected to be the biggest trading day of the year. 

Despite subdued consumer demand throughout 2019, Debenhams has high hopes for Black Friday as this year the event falls on the last payday before Christmas.

Steven Cook, Debenhams’ MD of fashion, beauty and home, said: “Debenhams has a long tradition of kick-starting the Christmas shopping season with amazing offers on the last payday before Christmas.  We always have an event in the week Black Friday falls and this year’s is bigger and better than ever!”

A survey from PWC found that consumers plan to spend 10% more during Black Friday 2019 than they did last year. On average, shoppers in London are forecast to spend £326 per head.

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