Boots hires 135 'cobots' to handle deluge of Black Friday sales

On average, 106 products have been sold every minute on the site between 12am and 9am today

Image: via boots-uk.com

Boots has hired the help of more than 135 ‘cobots’, or robot colleagues, to help manage its Black Friday online orders.

In the lead up to the shopping spree, the retailer expected six times its average boots.com orders made per week.

The cobots are estimated to handle three million items over the two week period.

“Our new cobot colleagues are ready to help with Black Friday, where we expect to pick around three million items over the two week period,” said Alan Penhale, Boots’ Interim Director of Supply Chain.

“Our warehouse team absolutely love the cobots – who have all been given names.

“They make the warehouse a calmer, more productive place and are also two to three times faster than manually pushing trolleys long distances, saving our teams from having to walk quite as far.”

Between 12am and 9am today, the retailer had almost 500k visitors to its site and an average of 106 products were sold every minute.

The retailer’s top three products were Paco Rabanne 1 Million for Men edt, Paco Rabanne Lady Million for Women edp and Ted Baker’s Suite Harmony gift set.

There are currently around 600 promotions on boots.com and 60 deals available online and in store, which are set to last until Cyber Monday on 2 December.

“Black Friday is fast becoming Black Fri-week, with UK retailers running one to two weeks of discounts rather than one single day,” said Seb James, Boots’ Senior VP and Managing Director.

“The incredible teams from our distribution centres, stores and support office are working around the clock to deliver a brilliant customer experience both online and in store, and we are absolutely thrilled with the results so far.”

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