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As Asda backs away, others prepare for the Black Friday fray


So, Asda is pulling out of Black Friday. Hands up if you saw that one coming. Will it save deliveries from the peak period fire though? Probably not – it’s still going to be a very busy period, and if you’re not ready for it you’ll suffer.
No one should assume that Asda will successfully insulate itself from chaos across the delivery chain as a result of this decision, either. Whether it’s warehouses, vehicles, or simply the roads we all drive down, delivery is a game of shared resources; the entire delivery value chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When City Link collapsed last year, its customers suffered most, but the aftershock was felt by others too.

Tesco has started flagging up warnings to customers on the Tesco Direct site that there may be delays to next-day in-store collections. We hear from some eDelivery readers on whether that’s a smart move – treating customers with respect – or a shot-in-the-foot move – encouraging customers to shop elsewhere.

Argos is taking a different approach to managing customer expectations. By offering free same-day delivery from now until a few days before Black Friday, it is clearly hoping to release as much pent-up demand from shoppers as it can. Hang on though, free same-day delivery..? That’s quite some undertaking. The economics of such a move will be something we’re returning to look at later this month.

Like so many things at this time of year though, time alone will tell as to how peaky everyone feels this peak season. Everything else is just speculation.

With that outlook very much in mind, we have taken a look at three key names in the delivery sector – DPD, FedEx, and Yodel – to see what they’re saying about the preparations they have taken for peak 2015. No one has said anything about delivering telescopes to the moon, however.

Elsewhere on eDelivery, we have some in-depth research courtesy of our colleague Martin Shaw, head of research at InternetRetailing, who looks at enhanced logistics, and what it takes to be top of your game.

We also pose the question, if everyone knows customers want better delivery options, why aren’t more retailers using that as a way to attract more customers?

And by the way, happy Singles’ Day. If you’re still a bit in the dark about it, you can find out here why it might be worth getting acquainted with for 2016.

As always, if you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet we’d love it if you did. You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. But we won’t spam you – no one’s liked spam since the 1940s, have they? You’ll find details on subscribing here.

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Main image copyright Chor Ip. View original here.

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