Supply chain struggles hamper Black Friday results for retailers according to research from NTT DATA

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New research from NTT DATA UK&I, the IT services provider for the retail industry, has uncovered the struggles that retailers had to battle with during Black Friday this year.

Research conducted on 200 retail managers and directors across the UK highlighted supply chain issues as a major hindrance during the Black Friday period as 42% of retailers saw slower footfall in-store and traffic to their website compared to last year.

According to ONS figures, retail sales were lower over the Black Friday period and the new research from NTT DATA has shed light on supply chain issues as a major factor in this downturn. The findings show that this had a huge impact on both online and in-store retailers:

  • 46% of retailers found that supplier’s prices had increased this year
  • This resulted in 1 in 10 retailers being unable sell specific items as they couldn’t afford the stock
  • 40% of retailers could not obtain the stock they needed due to shortages
  • 33% did not get stock delivered to their store in time to sell it

These supply issues have not only hurt retailers’ revenues during this time, but it has resulted in extra work for businesses too, with 17% of retailers looking at reviewing their supply chain in order to save costs.

Cost-of-living taking its toll on retailers

The cost-of-living crisis has heavily impacted consumers, with many turning to Black Friday to help save money, but NTT DATA’s findings show that retailers have been heavily impacted as well. 43% of retailers have had to increase their prices as a result of supply problems and the cost-of-living, while over a quarter of retailers (26%) tried to offset this cost to the consumer by providing better offers to help people save more money this Black Friday.

Retailers have been extending deals past Black Friday this year as well in a bid to increase sales, with 39% planning to extend deals up until Christmas and 38% extending deals to help support customers during this turbulent period.

However, there is little optimism among retailers that this year’s dreary Golden Quarter will turn around, with 38% of retailers expecting lower sales this Boxing Day and post-Christmas. 

Geoff Lloyd, Director of Retail at NTT DATA UK&I, commented: “Retailers have had a tough ride this winter, as the increased cost-of-living has restricted consumer spending and lower costs are now being favoured over convenience. Coupled with ongoing supply chain issues and it is no wonder that retailers have struggled over the Black Friday period.

“This demonstrates the need for improved resilience in the retail supply chain, and technology has a huge role to play here in supporting retailers. By implementing the right digital systems to automate processes, retailers can monitor their supply chain more effectively and adapt when suppliers are unable to deliver. Predictive analytics can particularly assist retailers with building resilience – by assessing stock levels and ensuring that the right quantities of products are ordered in at the right time, retailers can make sure they are meeting customer demands while also maximising sales.”

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