Argos’ Black Friday bonanza will kick off next Friday (November 18) and run for 13 consecutive days through to November 30.
Falling on November 25, Black Friday marks the serious start of the festive shopping season as customers take advantage of the bargains available.
Cyber Monday on November 28 is also an important day for online shopping – and falls on pay day for many people this year.
Argos expects Black Friday to be a digital day again this year, after its website received around 12 million visits on the day itself in 2015, with customers making 18 transactions a second during peak trading periods.
Over 70% of all visits were from mobile and tablet devices and a quarter of total online sales were fulfilled via Argos’ newly introduced Fast Track Same-Day Delivery and Fast Track In-Store Collection services.
This year, Argos expects to see a repeat of last year’s shopping patterns, as customers stayed up to shop into the small hours to snap up deals as soon as they launched. Ten orders per second were processed between 1am and 2am (340,000 digital visits). Early bird shoppers were gaming and tech fans.
By 9am, digital channels had already seen 3.2 million visits and breakfast shoppers were after computing bargains, especially laptops. Peak hour was 8am to 9am with nearly one million visits. Across the full week including Black Friday, customers visited Argos digital channels over 42 million times.
While Argos is tight-lipped on details of specific deals for this year, it insists that there will be some sizable discounts on a range of domestic appliances, technology, toys and consumer electronics.
Sainsbury’s Argos chief executive officer John Rogers said: “Last year’s Black Friday was the biggest and most successful shopping day ever for Argos. We have been busy preparing for the Black Friday period for many months now, making sure our website, stores and distribution operations are all geared up in anticipation of high levels of demand for our great range of products.
“Without doubt, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed how people shop for Christmas in the past few years. But we remain focused on making shopping easy and convenient for customers, so they can get a great deal, whether they choose to shop with us in-store or online, or a combination of the two.”
Argos has over 800 stores across the UK and Ireland as well as almost 30 stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and another 30 digital collection points in Sainsbury’s stores.
The retailer has recruited an additional 10,000 seasonal workers for the festive period. On Black Friday itself, they will be joined by hundreds of head office workers helping out on the shop floor.
Argos’ 11 distribution centres (covering a total of 5.4 million sq ft of floor space) will have 6,100 warehouse workers and 1,000 delivery drivers, supported by 3,000 Fast Track drivers based at local stores.
Same-day Fast Track delivery slots will be offered to customers on a first-come, first-served basis with subsequent days’ slots offered once Black Friday’s delivery schedules are full.