Maplin expecting 150% year-on-year Black Friday sales increase

Maplin is expecting Christmas bargain hunters to drive revenues this Black Friday week, with the consumer electronics retailer predicting a 150% increase in sales compared to last year.

A full week of offers, with discounts of more than 70% off the price of some items, are available to Maplin shoppers – and the company has increased stock levels by over 200% on relevant product ranges to ensure it meets demand.

Children's toys and adult gadgets are a key focus for the retailer this year, but last year it was Dyson vacuum cleaners and heaters that wer the main sales drivers. Consumer awareness of Black Friday has grown significantly over the last 12 months, and Maplin is confident this will result in higher sales levels over the course of this week.

Oliver Meakin, CEO of Maplin and a confirmed speaker for RBTE 2016, commented: “Black Friday is now a key UK shopping date and is changing the way our customers plan their Christmas shopping.

“Following the success of our Black Friday promotion last year and based on customer feedback, we increased our range of offers and the number of products and are expecting a significant increase in online traffic. We have some incredible deals lined up as customers are using Black Friday to secure strong bargains ahead of the Christmas rush and we expect sales to be up 150% on last year by the end of Black Friday.”

Visa Europe released its Black Friday predictions last week, with the payments company expecting £721 million to be spent online this Friday and £1.19 billion to be spent face to face during the course of the day.

Neil McGowan, chief technology officer at Maplin, told Essential Retail that the company's main focus ahead of peak season has been on website load times, load testing and tuning of production website "using NCC facilities and ensuring sufficient cloud scaling capacity for hardware is available".

He also suggested that Maplin has "significantly increased hardware capacity" in order to support more than double the level of web traffic compared to last year.

"Our website did not crash last year and we experienced the biggest web day and hour of trading in Maplin's history," he explained.

"We have done a comprehensive performance test and tuning exercise. We are expecting records to be broken again this year."