Black Friday: Best day ever says John Lewis as wearables & key brands surge

John Jewis Christmas Ad 2015

John Lewis celebrated 150 years of successful trading last year. But that was nothing compared to the celebrations today as the company revealed its biggest trading day – ever – on Black Friday. Just think about it. In the roughly 35,000 days that John Lewis has traded on this planet – last Friday saw it taking more money than any other single day in its history, even adjusted for inflation.

John Lewis took in 11.9% more revenue than the same day last year and some of that money was mine (one vacuum cleaner, two metres of silk and an anti-moth spray). But it wasn’t people like me shopping in-store who drove the rise. It was johnlewis.com that raked in the cash.

The stores, meanwhile, were busier at the weekend with sales on Saturday up 9.3%. All of which was different to last year when the novelty of Black Friday itself generated an in-store rush.

On Black Friday, johnlewis.com saw sales peaking between 09:00 and 10:00 when the site was taking 4.9 orders per second. The firm’s distribution teams processed 18% more parcels across Friday, Saturday and Sunday compared to last year, and processed five units per second during its peak hour.

Not that it was all plain sailing as the site was one of those that crashed on Friday due to the weight of demand. But it obviously didn’t affect business for too long.

So what were the standout successes on the product front? Wearable tech rose 932% with Fitbits up over 1,329%. Barbour products rose 61% online and Ted Baker was up 66%. GHD hair stylers were up 83% and Dyson vacuum cleaners rose 208% (helped along by me, of course).

Retail director Mark Lewis said the move from online to in-store between Friday and Saturday showed “that more than ever customers like to mix and match channels to shop in the most convenient way for them.”

Meanwhile, Cyber Monday sales in the US were on track to smash all records yesterday, but they were also causing headaches with websites crashing or, at best, slowing down.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday