Online deliveries hit Christmas peak

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Deliveries of goods bought online are hitting their peak in the wake of “mega Monday” which saw internet sales leap 21 per cent on last year.

Figures from Retail Decisions show that £831,000 was spent in just one minute – at 1.15pm – as people used their lunch breaks to do some Christmas shopping.

Carl Clump, chief executive of Retail Decisions, said: “Our real-time statistics show that nearly 40 per cent of online Christmas shopping is done during office hours, and that between midday and 2pm at work on Monday 6th December has been the most popular time for purchasing.”

And David Smith, managing director at IMRG, said: “Mondays tend to have the highest spend of the week as people go out to the shops over the weekend and try the products before making a decision. With over half the population of the UK now shopping online, this Christmas looks to be a big one for retailers, possibly even exceeding our estimation of £6.4bn spent online in December.”

Research from returns and delivery company Collect+ predicts a surge in returned goods, peaking on 9th December, which it dubs “Boomerang Thursday”. The research forecasts that as online shoppers rush to secure replacement gifts before Christmas, 1.5 million parcels will be returned this week.

Mark Lewis, chief executive officer of Collect+ (the joint venture between PayPoint and Yodel), said: “For leading online retailers, it is clear that an effective returns process helps build customer loyalty and trust. With the right systems and processes in place, Boomerang Thursday should mean happy returns for retailers and shoppers alike.”

A spokesperson for parcel delivery company Hermes said: “We saw 600,000 parcels enter the network on 6th December, representing a record day for Hermes. We are consistently experiencing growth levels of between 8-9 per cent in the lead up to Christmas, which reflects the well-publicised increases in online sales.”

* FedEx Express reckons that 13th December will be the busiest day in the history of the company and is gearing up to move almost 16 million packages around the world.

During its busiest week in 2010 (13th-18th December), FedEx. expects to move more than 63.1 million shipments globally, compared with 57.5 million in 2009. The busiest day for shipments from the EMEA region is expected on 16th December, an increase of 8.2 per cent over last year, while 20th December will be the peak day for shipments coming into the region, up 6.4 per cent from 2009.

Gerald Leary, president of FedEx Express EMEA, said: “This will be an historic day for FedEx and we are thoroughly encouraged by the anticipated increase in holiday volume this year.”

A report commissioned by online retailer Kelkoo said that European households will spend an average of 0.8 per cent more on Christmas-related shopping this year as consumers buy more items online. Online sales are likely to rise 25 per cent to 32 billion Euros, according to the report. This trend, in addition to the usual seasonal spending in stores, will contribute to the surge in the number of packages moving through the FedEx network at this time of year.



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