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Black Friday 2015 will be more 'thoughtful', says John Lewis boss

Black Friday will be more “thoughtful” this year as retailers learn the lessons from 2014, chairman of John Lewis Partnership Charlie Mayfield has predicted.

It follows the company’s full-year trading update last week, in which it revealed sales via Johnlewis.com grew 21.6% to £1.4bn in the year to January 31.

Black Friday on November 28 marked a record day for online trading for John Lewis, with the retailer saying that during that week overall sales were up 22% on the previous year to £179m and 57% week on week. Online sales recorded a 42% year-on-year growth.

Mayfield told Drapers the department store chain was well placed to deal with any similar spikes in demand this year. “As soon as Christmas is over, we review what we need to do next time,” he explained.

The company will soft launch its second distribution centre, Magna Park 2, in Milton Keynes ahead of Black Friday, which will fall on November 27, before it becomes fully operational in 2016. A third warehouse is in the pipeline.

“We started to put the infrastructure in place [for the rise in online deliveries] seven to eight years ago,” said Mayfield. “Being a partnership allows us to take a long-term view.”

Online traffic in the UK on Black Friday 2014 beat all predictions, up 60% year on year to 180 million visits. Estimated sales increased by 86% to reach £810m in the UK, according to data from Experian and IMRG.

But Mayfield said: “Last year people heard [their competitors] would go big on it, so they decided to go big on it. I think Black Friday is going to be more thoughtful this year.”

@KirstyMcGregor

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