Online retailers and couriers braced for last minute gift surge

Online retailers and couriers are experiencing a late avalanche of last-minute gift deliveries, according to ParcelHero, with visits to the high street dropping by 25%.

The home delivery expert says online retailers and couriers are experiencing a 17% surge in late gift deliveries to save Christmas.

“The arrival of Omicron is nightmare timing for high street retailers, with the retail analyst Springboard revealing a 25% plummet in the number of visitors to the high street on Sunday, compared to the last Sunday before Christmas in 2019,” commented David Jinks, head of consumer research at ParcelHero. “It’s heartbreaking. Things had been looking so rosy for town centre stores this season, with a 10.8% rise in the value of sales as recently as last month.”

David continued: “Monday’s deliveries look around 17% 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.

“A shortage of truck drivers after Brexit, plus long delays at UK ports, have already had an impact on home deliveries. That’s now 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.”

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