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Prepare now for Olympics disruption, retailers warned

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Retailers must prepare now for the “huge potential” of this summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games to disrupt and delay retail deliveries, a leading courier has warned.

Parcel delivery company DPD is urging online retailers to respond by bringing forward their collection times and to communicate clearly with their customers about delivery arrangements over the 50 days that it estimates deliveries to some postcodes could be disrupted. It believes disruption could start in the middle of July and continue until mid-September, affecting some postcodes in and around London and other Olympic venues such as Dorchester, near Weymouth.

Some nine million tickets have been sold to the Olympic games, with as many as three million extra journeys expected on the busiest day.

Dwain McDonald, chief executive of DPD, said organizers were already starting to change road layouts for the Olympic Route Network, and that a likely major challenge would be getting goods from retailers to the main London parcel hubs at the end of each day in time for processing and next day delivery.

“We are urging online retailers to consider earlier collections and are working with them to build effective plans.

“There is huge potential for delays and inconvenience for customers so it is important that online retailers communicate clearly with customers about arrangements during the Olympic period, especially if they are going to introduce earlier cut-off times for next day delivery or if they are located in the areas likely to be most affected by disruption.”

He added: “We have been talking to retailers at length about the impacts and it is clear that many are still playing down the possible disruption both in terms of the seriousness and the period of time. Companies with head offices in London are generally being more realistic. Outside London awareness of the potential impact is much lower.”

For more information on which postcodes are likely to be affected, visit DPD’s Olympic Matrix and Olympic Bulletin here.

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