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John Lewis’ Black Friday – Friday, November 28th

Why is Black Friday big in the UK this year?

2013 was the year Black Friday broke through in the UK and John Lewis customer psyche. Although initially an American event, we began to see global technology brands like Apple offer their US discounts across the world. As part of our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment, we followed these brands in launching special offers and put them under the Black Friday banner to make it clear to our customers that this was a new, special event.

One year on, with customers now much more aware of the date and expecting to see great offers, Black Friday will be much bigger. It’s changing customer shopping patterns in the run-up to Christmas, taking over from Cyber Monday as the biggest online business day of the year. For us it has become a great opportunity to boost sales in the festive period, and a key part of our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment to customers.

– Why is this the first year it will be big?

Black Friday last year wasn’t just big, it was a record breaker. This year, it’s established in our customers’ minds and they are expecting to see more Black Friday deals from us, whether they’re shopping online or in store. So we’re doing much more to meet their expectations – including a fantastic range of proactive deals, special in-store activities, a promise to match other retailers’ Black Friday offers and extended opening times.

To give you a sense of the scale, here is a reminder of the key stats from Black Friday 2013.

  • Online sales were over 2x bigger than our previous record day
  • Sales from mobile devices were 3x bigger than our previous record
  • Traffic from midnight to 8am was 4x higher than our previous record
  • Mobile traffic in the peak hour 7am – 8am, was 14x higher than we had previously seen

We fully expect online sales to reach a new peak on Black Friday this year, as consumers look for the best deals on the web and opt for a service they know they can rely on.

– What sort of deals will we have?

Our deals will primarily focus on products from our Electricals range. However as part of our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment we will match other Black Friday offers from other retailers.

– How many will we have?

We will have around 100 proactive deals, online and in-store.

– What structures have we got in place to support this?

We have carefully planned for this year’s Black Friday to ensure orders can be fulfilled without compromising on the level of customer service and seamless delivery our customers expect. Customer service is at the heart of our business, and this will not change on Black Friday.

At Magna Park, our main distribution centre, we have for accounted for the increased demand and are bringing on extra staff and co-ordinating shift patterns to cover peak times to ensure that we maintain our high level of customer service. We are used to dealing with spikes in traffic during the Christmas period, so we are well prepared to plan and make sure our systems are in place to work with these peaks.

Other specific measures to cope with the increased demand include

– Will shops be doing anything differently?

All John Lewis branches will be opening from 8am. In each store we will have additional Partners on hand to advise customers on products and help them find the right deals, and a range of other special in-store activities.

– Place of NKU in our approach to Black Friday

Our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment remains in place on Black Friday. We will match other deals from other retailers, subject to availability.