Next week marks the start of the festive shopping season with the dawn of Black Friday.

With the popularity of online shopping on an upward trajectory in recent years, Takealot has proved to be a popular attraction for shoppers.

This is not just anecdotal, the online retailer saw its gross merchandise value (GMV) climb 125 percent between 2017 and 2018. Orders on Takealot also increased 127 percent over the same period.

Naturally, while an increase in orders is great, delivering those orders is an entirely different beast altogether.

Takealot expects to ship 10 000 packages over the next month and a bit with delivery drivers clocking in an estimated 4 million kilometres between Black Friday and 24th December.

This feat will be accomplished by 4 500 drivers according to Takealot.

Of course to make sure that orders do get delivered in the appropriate time period, Takealot needs access to the items it sells and for that it needs warehouse space.

“After expanding our Johannesburg distribution centre (DC), our warehouse storage space now stands at 75 000m 2 . We house over 3.7 million items at any given time, and have opened 47 Takealot Pickup Points in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga for order collections and returns, with more to open in the coming months,” says Takealot chief executive officer, Kim Reid.

The CEO says that Takealot expects this year to be its biggest yet.

What is unclear is how well Takealot is prepared for the massive influx of online traffic.

In 2017 Takealot’s website was inaccessible for a long time and last year the online retailer disabled credit card payments.

Of course Takealot isn’t the only retailer that struggles on Black Friday but it is one of the larger players making its mistakes a bit more visible to the general public.

This year Takealot will host its Blue Dot Sale (its own unique spin on Black Friday) from 29th November through to 3rd December. Here’s hoping the lights stay on.