Online retail keeps express markets alive

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Online retail is offering the recession-hit express market a lifeline, according to analyst Datamonitor. 

One of the areas that remained relatively buoyant despite the recession is online retail, leading to a rise in home deliveries, it said. A strong fourth quarter for e-retail saw retailers competing aggressively to capture a share of festive spending by distributing discount codes and offering free delivery. Consequently, many consumers were tempted into purchasing their Christmas shopping online.

In the US, both UPS and FedEx announced rate hikes for their home delivery products, indicating autonomous growth in this segment despite a fragile economy.

Datamonitor’s senior analyst Erik van Baaren said: “This offers these firms an opportunity to climb out of a situation of generally weak demand and downward pressure on prices.”

The analyst highlights the fact that TNT has shifted its focus on to the home delivery segment where, starting from its home market in the Netherlands, it has announced partnership agreements with large retailers to help them establish an online presence in Europe.

The company aims to provide so-called Special Delivery Solutions involving the functions of billing, technology, logistics and marketing for high-street retailers. Through this move, it is aiming to expand its remit within the home delivery market, away from just the delivery of parcels, says Datamonitor.

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