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SUPPLY CHAIN

Global disruptions may hit supply chain ahead of Black Friday

By our News Team | 2021

Warning that businesses and retailers could struggle to meet Black Friday consumer demand and should plan accordingly.

As Africa heads towards Black Friday, global supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic could mean that there’s insufficient stock to meet consumer demand come 26 November. 

This is according to Sam Clarke, CEO at Skynamo, an Africa-based provider of customer relationship management (CRM) technology, who says this year’s Black Friday could be one like no other, as businesses and retailers are faced with the challenge of meeting consumer demand while facing shortages.

“Around 90% of traded goods are transported via sea. But, with bottlenecks at ports due to the pandemic, the result could be that knockout deals this year are fewer and far between,” Clarke warns. “Similarly, retailers’ profit margins are already being squeezed, so there are likely to be fewer deals and smaller discounts on offer.”

Supply chain

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Cotton shortage may impact slothing sales

According to Clarke, supply-chain disruptions mean it may be harder for businesses to source the items they need in preparation for Black Friday. For example, cotton is in short supply worldwide, which affects the availability and price of certain clothing.

One way for retailers to mitigate this is to ensure that they are organised beforehand. So businesses should determine early what products they would like to discount and then speak to their suppliers as soon as possible. 

If it’s unlikely that stock will arrive in time for Black Friday, retailers need to ensure that they have a back-up plan, advises Clarke. 

Customer expectations must be managed

“Perhaps have other merchandise on hand that you can sell instead. Similarly, if items that customers order online are going to take a while to be delivered, make sure that this is communicated immediately to manage their expectations or give them time to find an alternative.” 

One way for retailers to circumvent supply issues is to offer a longer lead time for delivery, he says. 

“The other thing retailers can do is to give customers the option to pick up their merchandise from a drop-off point rather than deliver door-to-door.”

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