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News in brief round-up: Royal Mail, Jet, intu, DPD and more


Royal Mail same day boost with eCourier acquisition

Royal Mail is acquiring same day delivery company eCourier, which operates mainly in the Greater London area. According to Royal Mail, the acquisition supports its objective to “enhance its parcel offering, expand its network and capture more value in the fastest growing segments of the UK parcels market.”

Same day delivery is a premium segment of the parcels market, with an estimated value of over £500m, growing rapidly at around 4-5% per year. The B2B same-day market currently still overshadows the B2C segment, but the latter is expanding rapidly.

eCourier generated revenue of approximately £19m in 2014-15; its main shareholder and CEO, Ian Oliver, will remain in post.

Purple is the new black

Online retailer, founded by three former Amazon execs, is encouraging its users to visit the bricks-and-mortar stores of established retail partners on Black Friday, under an initiative it’s calling Purple Friday. Shoppers who can prove they spent at least $50 in selected physical stores will get a $10 JetCash voucher, which could be redeemed for $30 of online vouchers.

Step intu Christmas

Another initiative to incentivise shoppers into visiting physical stores on Black Friday, comes courtesy of intu, which has 15 branded shopping centres across the UK.

With over 400 million customer visits a year, intu together with some of its retailers, is giving customers the chance to “win their dream Christmas” in a nationwide social media competition.

Customers have to post a 6-20 second video about their favourite childhood Christmas memory to any of their social media channels tagged ♯intuChristmas. A video of the day will be showcased online and taken forward to the final, where a panel of judges (selected from the participating retailers) will choose the overall winner. This prize includes Christmas dinner, tree, decorations, clothing and more.

Gang of four new depots for DPD

Hard on the heels of it recent additions to its network, DPD has invested £14m developing four new super depots in Cardiff, Dagenham, Exeter and Stoke. Covering at least 60,000 sq ft, each super-depot is double the size of DPD’s standard depot sites, and will be capable of handling 25,000 parcels a day.

The new purpose-built facilities are all fitted with fully automated sorting conveyers and can handle 6,000 packages an hour – making them up to four times as efficient as older depots.

iForce bulks up for peak performance

iForce says it is “almost quadrupling its workforce” as it aims to cover all the peak season bases. The company will expand its workforce from its permanent number of 750 to around 2600, taking on around 1,850 temporary warehouse colleagues to reinforce operations ahead of increased activity during Black Friday and in the run up to Christmas.

Dropit like it’s hot

Shoppers in London can have all their shopping from different retailers consolidated into a one-drop home delivery service from Dropit.

Following a pilot on London’s Regent Street, in association with the Crown Estate, Dropit is now being introduced across London’s West End in preparation for the surge in festive footfall. Participating stores now include: Liberty, GAP, Armani Exchange, Barbour, Camper, Charles Tyrwhitt, Hunter, Jaeger, Karen Millen, Lacoste, River Island and Wolford.

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