STAFF at a major distribution centre near Burton are today recovering after coping with their busiest day of the year.
More than 600 employees at Argos’ huge warehouse in Barton tackled ‘Cyber Monday’, which is traditionally regarded as the busiest online shopping day of the year, as eager customers, fresh from their pay-day, began their preparations for Christmas.
It is thought that many people shopped using devices such as tablets and smart phones, stealing time to hunt for the perfect gift during their lunch hour.
Last year, sales reached their peak at around 1pm.
Argos has taken on 150 extra workers in a bid to cope with the busy Christmas period at its 650,000 sq ft warehouse, off the A38.
It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million items were dispatched from the site yesterday.
Argos reported that iPads, Furbies, digital cameras and Nintendo Wiis were among the most sought-after gifts this festive season.
The warehouse is one of 13 of the retailer’s hubs across the country and is becoming more important than ever as the company shifts its focus towards a more digitally-led future.
Neil Brooks, the centre’s general manager, said: “It’s a big day for us, as we will be dispatching around 250,000 products from our Barton site in order to meet the needs of our stores and our customers.
“We have employed around 150 extra staff to cover the Christmas period to make this happen.
“Many of the extra staff come from the surrounding local area.”
John Walden, Argos’ managing director, said: “Our experience tells us that ‘Cyber Monday’ is getting bigger every year as more shoppers go online for their Christmas gifts.
“Almost half of our sales now start online.
“Shopping on the move via mobile devices is seeing tremendous growth.
“This already represents around seven per cent of our total sales and we now expect this to hit 10 per cent this Christmas.”
THE distribution centre by numbers:
650,000sq ft, the size of 15 football pitches;
37 loading bays, the biggest of which could house two jumbo jets;
650 members of staff, 150 of which were taken on especially for the Christmas period;
250,000 items dispatched on ‘Cyber Monday’;
26,300 iPads, which if stacked would reach the summit of Mount Everest;
10,200 boxes of Lego Friends, which end-to-end would stretch to the equivalent of 280 double-decker buses.