Shares in M&S fell by more than 3% yesterday as it was revealed on the weekend that the British retailer is being forced to delay deliveries.
Marks and Spencer’s new distribution centre, which opened in Castle Donnington in April last year, had been unable to keep up with demand following a four day period of discounting over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Now the retail chain is telling customers on its website that standard deliveries could take up to 10 days, in comparison to the usual five day service.
In the run up to Christmas, customers who are uncertain when they will receive orders have taken to social media to express their frustration, with one customer asking “When’s Pass the Parcel going to be fixed?” on the M&S Facebook page.
12 months after the distribution centre opened, M&S launched their new website in April this year. Commenting on some of site’s issues, an M&S spokesman said:
“It’s the first Christmas of having all M&S.com there. With an operation of that scale, you are always going to get some onsite challenges”
Four days of promotions was a tactical move by the company but this has been overshadowed.
“The delivery issues that M&S (and its customers) are experiencing are troubling at such a busy time of year. Considering Amazon recently introduced a same day collection service for it’s customers, M&S needs to change something in order to regain consumer confidence in its eCommerce operations” says Jonathon Bellwood, Founder and CEO at Peoplevox.
“Provided that eCommerce companies can meet carrier cut off times, same-day collection and delivery services are entirely achievable when selling online. It’s about being optimised. For example, Amazon’s 11:45am cut off time for same-day pick up is very shrewd as they have multiple distribution centres to choose from and can pretty much guarantee that a product can get to a collection point in around 4 hours.”
“M&S may not benefit from the same distribution power but can certainly borrow elements of Amazon’s approach.”