Record online volumes over Christmas and New Year

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Online shopping hit record volumes for the period between Christmas and New Year with a 69 per cent year on year increase, according to MetaPack.

Clothing, footware, home and garden and sports and leisure were the sectors which drove growth in this period.

Volumes in the week running up to Christmas showed a 28 per cent increase on last year.

Retailers have been responding to these swelling volumes by increasing operational hours. Debenhams, Boohoo, House of Fraser, The White Company, Barratts, Misguided, Sports Direct and Asos were among the retailers who had warehouse operations running everyday post Christmas with Asos even preparing goods for despatch on Christmas Day.

MetaPack chief executive Patrick Wall said: “Internet shopping goes from strength to strength, with people having the confidence to leave their Christmas shopping later and then looking for bargains for themselves even after cut-off dates have passed. And where it may not be possible to get out to the shops on the public holidays the ease of getting online and buying from home seems to win out and the online retailers that are exploiting this fact will be the winners in 2013.

* Parcel carrier Yodel handled more than 14 million parcels in between the 1st and 24th of December.

The company said it had invested heavily in detailed planning, which began in the spring, including intensive forecast demand processes and increasing its operational capacity with additional temporary service centres and 15 contingency warehouses and increased storage at its busiest locations.

Yodel also recruited temporary workers earlier to ensure extended training, boosting its peak workforce to 16,000, and deliveries were increased to seven days a week to cope with the additional parcel volumes throughout December.

Chairman Dick Stead said: “Our planning paid off and, despite flooding in some areas, all of our nationwide service centres were clear at close of play on Christmas Eve with the exception of a small number of parcels, where we were either unable to obtain access to the address or the addressee was unavailable to sign for them.

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