Online shopping in the UK is set to get easier as Britain’s postal service company Royal Mail announced on Wednesday that it plans to open seven days a week at certain delivery offices across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The scheme will be piloted at Royal Mail delivery offices that handle the highest volumes of parcels and will see around 100 of these delivery offices opening on Sunday afternoons later this summer, making it easier for online shoppers who not at home during weekdays to receive their orders. Currently, Royal Mail’s delivery offices are open six days a week.
According to Royal Mail, almost half of its 1,400 delivery offices already open later on a Wednesday evening to allow people to collect parcels that were not delivered because they were not at home. Royal Mail has also introduced its Delivery to Neighbour initiative across Britain. Customers who were out when a delivery was attempted can also arrange a free redelivery to their home or a neighbour via www.royalmail.com/redelivery.
Royal Mail’s distribution network is also opening later on a Saturday and on Sundays, allowing larger e-retailers to hand over items ordered by online shoppers on a Saturday afternoon and Sunday to Royal Mail for delivery on a Monday. This new service became operational earlier in May this year.
In addition, Royal Mail is to trial Sunday parcel deliveries to addresses within the M25 motorway later this summer and Parcelforce Worldwide, Royal Mail Group’s express parcels business, will introduce a Sunday delivery service for online shoppers through participating e-retailers this June.
The Sunday delivery service from Parcelforce Worldwide will be available to contract customers across the UK. Online shoppers who select the Sunday service through participating retailers will be sent a text message between 30 and 90 minutes before their parcel is delivered.
Sunday opening initiatives are being planned under an agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU), known as the Agenda for Growth.
Moya Greene, CEO of Royal Mail Group, stated: “Through these new Sunday services we are exploring ways to improve our flexibility and provide more options for people to receive items they have ordered online. The support of the Communication Workers Union has enabled us to respond quickly to a changing market, underlining the importance of the ground-breaking Agenda for Growth agreement.”
Royal Mail Group has two core divisions: UKPIL and GLS. UKPIL operates in the UK collecting and delivering parcels and letters through two main networks, the Royal Mail Core Network and Parcelforce Worldwide, while GLS operates in continental Europe and the Republic of Ireland.