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A warning for last minute shoppers: Christmas presents put pressure on delivery services

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17m Christmas parcels “will arrive late this year”, retail analysts claim. 

Supply chain analysts at LCP Consulting have estimated that 17m Christmas presents, including 2.2m ordered over the Black Friday weekend and worth a total of £695m, will miss the delivery targets promised by retailers. 

The statistics argue that around 7% of the Black Friday orders will miss their delivery time, whilst 2.9% will need to be re-delivered because the customer won’t be at home. 

Part of the increased strain on retailers has been due to the rise in the number of shoppers wanting next day delivery: an increase of 20% on last year, adding 4m parcels to express delivery services. This has been accentuated by the competition resulting from the services of large e-commerce players such as Amazon which introduced a premium 1-hour delivery service earlier this year. 

“Retailers continue to pursue a faster and freer agenda which is simply placing too much pressure on their back end infrastructure and carrier partners to deliver,” said Stuart Higgins, Retail Partner at LCP Consulting. 

“With one in 10 deliveries risking failure this Christmas, retailers need to ensure they don’t promise what they can’t deliver or the customers will simply find a competitor who can.” 

A recent study by LCP also found that 70% of customers view the ease of returning purchases as “very important”. LCP said that return services at most retailers remain lacking despite this. 

Published on Monday 30 November by Philip Gallagher

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