Online retailers ‘experience 17% surge’ in late gift deliveries

E-commerce retailers and couriers are experiencing a 17 per cent surge in late gift deliveries, according to ParcelHero.

The UK parcel delivery service said that the rise comes as shoppers deserted the High Street last weekend due to the surge of Omicron cases.

“The arrival of Omicron is nightmare timing for High Street retailers, with the retail analyst Springboard revealing a 25 per cent plummet in the number of visitors to the High Street on Sunday, compared to the last Sunday before Christmas in 2019,” said David Jinks, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research. “Monday’s deliveries look around 17 per cent up on anticipated volumes.

“The reason for the late surge is not hard to see. Many shoppers have fled the High Street to safely order their final presents at home."

Jinks pointed out that a shortage of truck drivers after Brexit, plus long delays and UK ports, have already had an impact of home deliveries.

He said that this is being compounded by growing Omicron-related illness and absence at distribution centres.

"Even so, we expect online stores and couriers will meet the challenge, providing shoppers don’t leave things until the 23rd,” concluded the head of consumer research.

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