Delivery men loading boxes into a vehicle

While Brits are expected to spend £3bn on Black Friday*, the latest data from Sorted, the delivery experience company, warns that this ‘sales’ day could, in fact, cost UK retailers £203m in returns caused by failed deliveries.

Original data from Sorted, which mapped the buying behaviours of over 2,000 UK shoppers, predicts that Black Friday alone will see £1.01bn worth of online deliveries fail – either arriving too late or after the allocated delivery slot promised by the retailer.  This, Sorted estimates, will result in £203m of products being returned to retailers.

Black Friday returns present a critical issue for retailers as items that are sent back become stuck in a ‘returns loop’ as they are processed back into a retailer’s system.  This means products become unavailable to buy just at the moment a retailer wants to sell in the Christmas trading period.  Often, they come back on the shelf in January – already a period of further discounting – and then can’t be sold at full price, reducing retailers already squeezed margins.

David Grimes, founder and CEO at Sorted, commented:

“Consumers already expect immediacy of delivery at every stage of their buying journey – indeed, our recent research showed two fifths of UK shoppers won’t wait more than 24 hours for a delivery, suggesting that even ‘next day’ fulfilment options no longer adds value to online shoppers.”

“And, with the frenzied buying behaviours associated with flash promotions, such as Black Friday, this just compounds the sense of urgency around speed of delivery.  Consumers already want ultra-fast fulfilment and this is just exacerbated on Black Friday – with failed Black Friday deliveries which don’t meet shoppers’ expectations around speed costing UK retailers £203m in returns.”

“In addition to offering additional delivery options to meet these demands, retailers need to be confident they can deliver on these promises to uphold the delivery experience.  Practically, retailers should consider third party logistics partners who are geared to perform at speed in a specific geographic area, as well as carriers who specialise at delivering specific types of items, generally depending on their size and weight, are more likely to be meet deadlines and operate more cost effectively.”


Contact details:


Notes to editors

Original research of 2,000 UK adults, polled by OnePoll on behalf of Sorted, September 2017

* Independent, November 2017:


About Sorted:

  • Sorted Group rebranded from The MPD Group on 8th May 2017.  It was founded in 2010 by David Grimes at his parent’s kitchen table, with the launch of Today, it is headquartered out of Manchester city centre and comprises:
    • Sorted Ship – dynamic delivery management platform that grows ecommerce businesses (formerly Electio)
    • SortedHERO – provides a raft of delivery choices at the checkout
    • – a comparison site that ensures sending parcels is made simple
  • Sorted app – the company recently revealed plans to launch a Sorted app.  The app will host the functionality to aggregate all of a consumer’s different delivery and returns correspondence into one handy location that can be customised at a click.  It will feature options to track deliveries and returns through Facebook and WhatsApp and will also work as single, unified, paperless returns app.
  • Group founder and CEO, David Grimes, is a double Masters graduate from Cambridge University, where he studied law, economics and management studies.
  • David and the Group have been the winners of numerous accolades and awards including:
    • Top 100 fastest growing technology companies – Northern Tech Awards 2017;
    • EN Awards – Most Entrepreneurial Company of the Year;
    • Online Business Awards 2105SBA – Online Business of the Year;
    • Forbes’ Most Exciting UK business;
    • Young Entrepreneur of the Year.