In the immortal words of Roy Wood’s Wizard – “We wish it Could be Christmas Every day … “. But do we? What exactly would the retail sector look like if it was Christmas 365 days a year? Seasonal cheer and longer store opening hours are usually expected this time of year. Birmingham’s Bull Ring has extended its opening hours from 10:00am – 10:00pm in the run up to Christmas, and just down the street eager shoppers can experience the delights of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.
But it’s not all merriment for retailers. With the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday immigrating to us from the US, coupled with the natural surge of seasonal online and physical purchases, Christmas 2014 is predicted to be the busiest on record for the UK’s online logistics industry.
With the recent news that Yodel had to suspend collections from distribution hubs because of Black Friday and Cyber Monday demand, it now has a substantial backlog to clear in the run up to Christmas. Last week Marks and Spencer lost some of its sparkle when it was forced to extend delivery dates for online orders as a new distribution centre struggled to cope with the heavy Christmas demand.
Tesco and Asda also succumbed to the pressures of Black Friday as staff were left dazed as overzealous shoppers descended on local stores to grab a bargain, leading to small scuffles and store closures – likely to cost the supermarket giants some reputational damage.
Though retailers might experience an influx in profits at seasonal peaks throughout the year, with a strained supply chain, tightened shop security and a large supply of decorative ball balls to hang in shop windows, as it stands the retail sector is not fully geared up to a sudden surge during a shortened trading period.
Whilst the idea of a never ending Christmas may sound appealing to hungry shoppers looking for a bargain, the reality is many retailers have failed to honour delivery time frames, and have been forced to admit defeat. In a world of ‘next day delivery’ and ‘click and collect’, situations such as these would be what to expect with an all year round snow fall of discounts and bargain prices.