Royal Mail is extending the opening times of its delivery offices, making it easier for online shoppers to pick up their parcels.
From today more than 200 delivery offices will open until 8pm on Wednesdays and until 2pm on Saturdays. Another 350 will join them later in the summer. In all about 650 sites will eventually offer the later opening.
Mike Brown, Royal Mail’s fulfillment director, said: “The majority of items ordered online are delivered first time but this investment by Royal Mail will help people who are not at home during the day to receive their item in cases where it is too big to go through the letterbox or needs a signature.
“With online sales continuing to grow this initiative demonstrates our determination to develop products and services that help both retailers and their customers to have greater choice and control over the delivery of items.”
The scheme was trialled at about 100 delivery offices in May. Customers can already arrange a redelivery to their home or a neighbour or ask for items to be taken to a Post Office branch through the Local Collect service.
David Smith, managing director of IMRG, which represents online retailers, said: “As a result of the close partnership between Royal Mail and the online retail industry, shoppers now have more control over the delivery of their items than ever before.
“More than half the UK adult population now shops online and this latest initiative provides even greater choice and convenience for them. It will help support even greater satisfaction levels and deliver an even more positive online shopping experience consumers.”
Clare Gilmartin, managing director of eBay UK, said: “Flexible delivery options are hugely important to the digital economy as more and more people choose to shop online or via a mobile shopping app for the convenience it provides.
“Online businesses equally rely on dependable and flexible delivery services to maintain a good reputation and retain the loyalty of customers. The majority of the 140,000 businesses that sell via eBay use Royal Mail as their delivery provider and the extended opening hours announced today will be welcomed by the small and medium sized online business community.”