Black Friday has eclipsed Boxing Day, says Dixons Carphone boss Sebastian James

Kasmira Jefford
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Shoppers on Oxford Street during the Boxing Day sales last year (Source: Getty)

Dixons Carphone boss Sebastian James said Black Friday was the new Boxing Day, after feverish demand for cut-price televisions and gadgets turned the American-made sales event into its busiest shopping day ever.

The group said at its peak on 28 November, the retailer had five times the web traffic of an average day and put in place a queuing system for the first time to prevent a meltdown: “It was like starship enterprise with someone in the engine room saying it’s going to blow,” James said.
He admitted the promotional event may have brought forward some purchases that would have been made closer to Christmas but said it managed to sustain “good margins” and increase its market share.
His comments came as Dixons Carphone posted a 30 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £78m in its first half-year results since its merger this summer. Like-for-like revenue rose by five per cent over the six months to 1 November from £4.97bn to £5.02bn.
“The integration of our business seems to be going better than I dared hope, and our integrated stores are trading very well,” James said.
He dismissed fears the company could suffer the same fate as Phones 4u, saying it has “good, multi-year contracts with all of our networks”.
It expects to benefit in the long term from Phones 4u’s demise and has been targeting its younger customer base.

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