Julie Palmer, Partner and retail expert at Begbies Traynor, said:
“With most retailers taking the decision to extend Black Friday and Cyber Monday into a full weekend worth of Christmas deals, my fear is that this brief but intense period of trading has done more harm than good for our high street’s struggling retailers.
“The retailers have largely managed to avoid last year’s scenes of overcrowding and customers fighting at the tills by switching their sales focus away from in-store, to online instead. However with Argos, John Lewis and Tesco’s websites struggling to cope over the weekend with the surge in online sales, this has raised serious concerns over the suitability of some retailers’ online platforms and customer services, which are simply not set up for such high levels of demand.
“As well as the obvious hit to margins of such heavy discounting, the reputational risks associated with website inefficiencies and delayed deliveries have more longer lasting knockbacks for retailers, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday failings translate into lost customers over the coming weeks as well as a longer term corrosion of trust in the brands themselves.”
Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.
Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.