News & Insights

Black Friday supply chain issues a cause for concern amongst UK tech retailers

24th November 2021

Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) state that an abundance of supply chain issues could mean that UK retailers may not have enough stock to meet the Black Friday demand.

The reasons for this concern can be attributed to three main factors.

Firstly, there are delays to stock arriving in the UK, with products arriving from Asia triggering particular “pinch points” according to the IMRG’s insights director, Andy Mulcahy.

Secondly, there are the delays we have seen at some UK ports this year that have affected the processing of goods arriving into the UK.

Thirdly, once the products are in the UK, the shortage of warehouse staff and HGV drivers has stalled the speed at which products can be distributed from the warehouses to retail stores.

Reports indicate that all of these factors are likely to have some sort of impact on the stock levels of UK tech retailers this Black Friday.

What is Black Friday?

The concept of Black Friday originated from the US and traditionally takes place on the last Friday in November.

It is known for being the time of the year when, particularly technology, companies offer significant discounts on their products.

Consequently, these types of companies often see their highest levels of sales pre-Christmas during this period.

Some tech retailers may decide to postpone their Black Friday promotional campaigns until they have the stock to meet the demand.

Meanwhile, others may choose to adapt their existing promotional campaigns to reflect their current stock levels and the product range they currently have in their stores.

IMRG have confirmed that there will still be discounted tech products for consumers to buy this Black Friday, it is just that there might be slightly less of certain products compared to previous years.

It is suspected that smaller businesses are more likely to be affected by the ongoing supply chain issues outlined above, rather than larger companies. According to Mr Mulcahy, “those with deeper pockets can find ways to work around it to ensure they have stock in”.

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