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House of Fraser gears up for click-and-collect Black Friday

House of Fraser is gearing up for strong click-and-collect sales from Black Friday and beyond, with a new warehouse management system in stores to reduce queuing times from three minutes to 30 seconds.

Chief executive Nigel Oddy said click-and-collect, which House of Fraser calls “buy-and-collect”, is a key part of the department chain’s multichannel strategy, alongside experiences in store, such as brow bars, nail bars and blow-dry services.

House of Fraser 'buy&collect' at London City

House of Fraser ‘buy and collect’ at London City

Behind the scenes at House of Fraser’s London City store

At the House of Fraser City store in London, which was fully refurbished last year, the click-and-collect area has nine tills, three of which can be transformed back into trading space outside of the peak period.

Thanks to its location in the heart of the City of London, the store is one of the top-performing branches for click-and-collect across House of Fraser’s 60-strong UK portfolio.

The new system allows back-of-house staff to identify where a parcel is stored down to the aisle, shelf and where exactly it is on the shelf, to speed up the picking process.

Store manager James Lancaster-Carpenter told Drapers the store had received 725 parcels this morning. The majority are expected to be collected over the weekend or on Monday.

“On our peak day, which was Cyber Monday last year, we had 800 parcels, so I expect we’ll easily surpass that this year,” he said. The firm has trebled the size of its stock room and has had teams in since 5am to meet the Black Friday demand. “Our busiest periods at this store will be 1-2pm and 5-7pm with our City workers. Speed is everything.”

The department store chain started trialling the new system in summer and the City store was the first to roll it out. It has since been introduced into stores including London’s Oxford Street and Glasgow.

House of Fraser 'buy&collect' at London City

House of Fraser ‘buy and collect’ at London City

“Buy-and-collect” at House of Fraser London City

The London Victoria store, which officially unveiled its six-month major refurbishment on 10 November, is also using the new system and offers fitting rooms next to the click-and-collect tills so shoppers can try on their purchases after they have picked them up.

Store manager Amanda Cheston said the store is forecasting Monday to the biggest day for click-and-collect, while she expects Black Friday to be the biggest for store sales.

House of Fraser launched its Black Friday deals on 23 November and will run them until Monday, offering up to 50% off selected items.

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