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Black Friday & Cyber Monday vs The Supply Chain Crisis

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With the holiday season among us, the decision between shopping in store or online is crucial to getting your gifts on time

According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 158.3 million people plan to shop this weekend, which is 2 million more than 2020. 

This also comes with an expected spending total of $28.1 billion, the highest since 2018. 

National Retail Federation President and CEO, Matthew Shay says, “We’re expecting another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as it always has,” 

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day for the world to get their hands on the biggest bargains in preparation for the holiday season.

It dates back to the 1960s in Philadelphia when police would complain about the congested streets as people hunted for the best deals for their Christmas shopping.

The term refers to when stores would move from the ‘red’ to the ‘black’ in their accounting records, red indicating a loss and black indicating a profit.

The major shopping event is typically on the Friday after Thanksgiving, meaning that this year it will fall on November 26th.

And if you think you’re reading this too late, not to worry! Retailers are opting to extend their deals, which brings us to Cyber Monday. 

What is Cyber Monday?

Unlike Black Friday which takes place both in store and online, Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving, meaning this year it will be on November 29.

As indicated in the name, Cyber Monday is an online event, which according to BlackFriday.com was when most shoppers planned to do their shopping last year.

National Retail Association CEO, Dominique Lamb says “Cyber Monday also continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The pandemic has accelerated the growing trend towards online shopping, which provides consumers with great convenience.”

“We really encourage Aussies to get their online purchases done and dusted on Cyber Monday. Not only will that secure them great deals, but with the delivery system under strain consumers shouldn’t be waiting until the last minute to make online Christmas purchases,” she said.

In Store vs Online

According to the National Retail Federation, 2020 was a record year for online shopping as the number of shoppers passed the 100 million mark which was up 8% from 2019.

This is likely to increase as the world becomes more and more accustomed to doing tasks from the comfort of their own home. 

But making the effort to get out of your pyjamas to go shop in store may be the way to go this holiday season, as the supply chain crisis continues.

As retailers struggle to retrieve their merchandise due to congested shipping ports, the shortage of workers needed to make, unload, and transport products, and thus the strained manufacturers and distributors, getting your Christmas shopping on time may not be possible.

According to FedEx, the Covid-19 pandemic has created record breaking shipment volumes as people choose to avoid the crowds and stay in their pjs, causing major delays. 

These delays will likely be amplified by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, which FedEx expects to be the biggest single shopping days of the year.

Business

Sleepover at IKEA: dozens stranded amid snowstorm in Denmark

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Two dozen staff and six customers were forced to stay the night at IKEA as up to 30 centimetres of snow trapped them inside

A furniture showroom in the department store in Aalborg, Denmark, became the bedroom of several people who were unable to safely make it home in time amidst a strong snowstorm.

Store Manager Peter Elmose told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid that people could “pick the exact bed they always have wanted to try.”

People working in a toy shop next door also took to the department store to join in on the fun.

Michelle Barrett, one of the toy shop staff, told Denmark’s public broadcaster, DR, “it’s much better than sleeping in one’s car. It has been nice and warm and we are just happy that they would let us in.” 

“We just laughed at the situation, because we will probably not experience it again,” she added.

Another approximate 300 people had to stay the night at the Aalborg airport to keep out of the storm. 

According to Euronews, the IKEA sleepover consisted of feasting on chips and Swedish cinnamon rolls in the staff canteen before watching television.

“It was a really nice evening, enjoying each other’s company,” Elmose told AFP. 

“Everyone had a full night’s sleep, our mattresses are good.”

And when the shop reopened for business the next morning, all the bedding and sheets had of course been changed.

Unmade beds following the overnight stay at IKEA amid snowstorm. Source: IKEA Aalborg’s Instagram

This comes after 61 people were trapped in a Yorkshire pub for three nights last week.

The several people trapped in the Tan Hill Inn during the storm slept on makeshift beds on the floor, watched movies, had a quiz night and enjoyed a buffet meal.

Some guests even claimed they didn’t want to leave the the pub after enjoying the 17th century hotel’s hospitality.

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United Airlines makes history, operating flight with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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The aviation sector is widely known to be a high-emissions industry, with aircraft contributing to a growing pollution problem – but United Airlines just made history, in a brilliant way

United Airlines on Wednesday operated the world’s very first flight that used 100% sustainable aviation fuel, known as SAF.

Flying a jet with more than 100 passengers from Chicago to Washington, DC, the flight was the first commercial flight ever using only renewable fuel.

In a statement United Airlines said: United is the world leader in the usage and support for the development of SAF, an alternative fuel made with non-petroleum feedstocks, already having agreements to purchase nearly twice as much SAF as the known agreements of all other global airlines combined.

SAF has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the country’s vast feedstock resources are enough to meet the projected fuel demand of the entire U.S. aviation industry.

“United continues to lead from the front when it comes to climate change action,”

United CEO Scott Kirby, who will fly onboard today’s historic SAF flight.

“Today’s SAF flight is not only a significant milestone for efforts to decarbonize our industry, but when combined with the surge in commitments to produce and purchase alternative fuels, we’re demonstrating the scalable and impactful way companies can join together and play a role in addressing the biggest challenge of our lifetimes.”

The airline boss noted.
United makes history using 100% SAF fuel on domestic flight / Image: Supplied

Currently, airlines are only permitted to use a maximum of 50% SAF

The SAF used on the Dec. 1 flight is drop-in ready and compatible with existing aircraft fleets, United said.

The flight operated as a demonstration – to see how the jet would perform using only SAF fuel

The 737 MAX 8 used 500 gallons of SAF in one engine and the same amount of conventional jet fuel in the other engine “to further prove there are no operational differences between the two and to set the stage for more scalable uses of SAF by all airlines in the future,” United said.

United partnered with other companies including Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum whose technology enables 100% drop-in SAF, and World Energy, the world’s first and North America’s only commercial SAF producer to make the flight possible.

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World airlines warn Omicron will hit travel again

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The aviation industry has warned the Omicron variant of COVID is set to impact the aviation industry once again

Airlines are starting to feel the effects of the new Omicron variant of COVID, with Emirates and easyJet both warning Tuesday of the risks to travel demand. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

The world’s airlines are bracing for a fresh impact from the Omicron variant.

On Tuesday (November 30) the strongest warning came from mideast carrier Emirates.

Company President Tim Clark warned that any hit to seasonal travel will be devastating for an industry already hit by two years of heavy losses:

“So, I would say probably by the end of December, we’ll have a much clearer position. But in that time, December is a very important month for the air travel business and if that is lost, or the winter is lost to a lot of carriers, there will be significant traumas in the business, certainly the aviation business and the periphery of that.”

UK budget airline easyJet says it’s already seeing a drop-off in demand.

It says resurgent health worries, including Omicron, have prompted people to rethink plans for city breaks.

Though it says the impact isn’t yet as bad as during earlier lockdowns.

On Tuesday the airline reported a loss of $1.5 billion for the year to the end of September.

Scandinavia’s SAS also said it remained in the red for the August to October quarter.

The latest warnings come after multiple countries including the U.S., UK, Japan and Israel imposed travel curbs in response to the new virus variant.

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