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Retailers final Christmas order dates earlier this year, warns ParcelHero


ParcelHero has relaunched its retailers’ Christmas final deadline tool, listing 50 of the UK’s favourite retailers’ final order dates, and in doing so has warned that a Sunday Christmas and potential delivery disruption could cause problems for last-minute shoppers.

The UK parcel delivery service said stores that only process orders on weekdays have moved their deadlines back this year to accommodate a Sunday Christmas. ParcelHero warned that not only are some dates earlier this year, but some of the UK’s favourite brands have now disappeared entirely from the list after a bruising few months for retailers.

Many stores, such as Very, Superdry and Liberty have moved their standard options back by at least a day, compared to 2021.

John Lewis is also already advising that standard orders placed from 21 December onwards won’t get to their destination before 04 January – although its next-day service for smaller items should be in time for orders placed on 23 December or before.

“It’s not just standard orders that are impacted, however. A number of retailers’ final deadline options for their fastest services are also being more cautious,” said ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks.

For example, Harrods has moved its final order date back from 23 December last year to 21 December this year, and Littlewoods/Very has moved its fastest service back by one day to 22 December.

Jinks added: “That makes a lot of sense, as there could be some Christmas delivery chaos this year. Traditional mail services may be hit by strikes if an ongoing dispute is not resolved over the next few weeks. Additionally, some delivery organisations and distribution centres are struggling with a lack of seasonal staff because the pool of available workers has sunk considerably post-Brexit.

“For these reasons, we strongly advise shoppers not to place their trust in retailers’ final order deadlines. Last year, some companies ultimately ditched their fastest next-day delivery options. This can happen when Christmas delivery plans come into contact with reality.”

The company added that despite the issues facing some retailers, a number are sticking to their same-day Christmas Eve ordering dates. But stressed that several of these options are only within certain postcode areas – usually around London, this includes:

  • Amazon: 24 December
  • Argos: 24 December
  • Net-a-Porter: 24 December (specific postcodes only)
  • Selfridges: 24 December (London only)
  • Zara: 24 December (London only)

Additionally, the delivery firm suggested that Click & Collect services may also be available right up to and including Christmas Eve.

“Remember, however, that the turmoil that has hit retailers over the past few years may mean that the ‘buy now – pick up in store’ option you have traditionally used may no longer be possible,” Jinks warned.

“Given the current strain on delivery services, we won’t be surprised if retailers change to earlier final order dates as Christmas nears. That’s why our continually updated Christmas deadlines tool is so useful for keeping shoppers in the know with all their favourite retailers’ final order dates,” he concluded.

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