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Black Friday promotions cause delivery delays at M&S

Marks & Spencer has had to delay deliveries of online orders by up to two weeks and withdraw next-day click-and-collect services after a spike in demand caused by a four-day promotion launched on Black Friday.

The retailer’s Castle Donington distribution centre is struggling to process the high volume of orders made during its ‘Four Magical Days’ promotional event, which was held from Black Friday (November 28) through to Cyber Monday (December 1). It would not say how many orders were received over that period.

“We have extended our delivery options as we work through the volumes created through the promotion,” confirmed a spokesman. Next-day delivery to home services are still available but standard deliveries, which normally take from three to five days, could take up to 10 working days.

The 900,000 sq ft Castle Donington site in Leicestershire was opened at the start of 2013 and processes orders for clothing, homewares and gifts.

“It is a new site so there are always some on-site challenges, but we have built some flexibility around our delivery options to ensure we can deliver according to what we promise at the checkout,” the spokesman said.

He continued: “Our customer is always our top priority and that is why we’ve extended [the timings of] some of our delivery options. The vast majority of orders are delivered on time. If we do miss a delivery date, we will do all we can to rectify it for the customer.”

One of M&S’s customers, Sarah Kelly, wrote on the retailer’s Facebook page: “Ordered Xmas [sic] presents on 21st Nov, still not arrived. Spent an hour on phone to customer services being transferred between departments. Most items now out of stock so can’t reorder. Some items available in store, but now at a higher price and M&S won’t honour the original price paid.”

Another customer, Phil Wass, wrote: “Placed an order online on 29/11 to collect in-store on Saturday 7/12 to be told that morning that only one of the three items would be ready. The second one came in on the Sunday 8/12 so I had to go back to the store again. The third was simply cancelled as you couldn’t find any.”

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