Friday 13th Dec 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

Royal Mail strike may cause Black Friday chaos

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A Black Friday Royal Mail strike could leave millions of packages undelivered, costing UK retailers millions.

If Royal Mail does strike, then retailers will be forced to attempt to pass 8.5million parcels or 105,000 van loads to other parcel carriers – costing them millions in higher postal costs.

The dates of the strike are not yet confirmed, yet there are mounting fears that the Communications Workers Union, (CWU), could opt to cause the most chaos possible by targeting either the Black Friday sales, or the Christmas post.

BearingPoint, which advises many of the UK’s top ten retailers on their operations, warns that additional parcel carriers may not be able to cope with any extra load as their infrastructure and capacity cannot carry the additional load.

As a result, millions of retail orders would remain undelivered until the strike ends.

Stuart Higgins, a partner at BearingPoint said: “A Black Friday strike could represent a major threat to UK retail at a time when the sector is desperate for a much-needed sales boost following a very lacklustre performance this year.

The majority of UK retailers generate all their annual profits during this three-month peak period, which includes the critical Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend.”

By Michelle Mooney