Parcelforce Worldwide launches Sunday deliveries this weekend
UK parcel carrier Parcelforce Worldwide will launch its new Sunday delivery service this coming weekend. The express parcels business of Royal Mail Group claimed the move would see it becoming the first national parcel carrier to deliver seven days a week through the year, but it would appear they have been pipped at the post by rivals Hermes, who began earlier this month. DPD is also bringing in Sunday service this summer.
The new Parcelforce offering is particularly aimed at providing added delivery choice for online shoppers buying goods from participating retailers.
Sunday deliveries will be made after 9am.
Gary Simpson, Managing Director of Parcelforce Worldwide, said: “Parcelforce Worldwide has introduced Sunday deliveries to enable online retailers to provide their shoppers with improved flexibility and choice over the delivery of their items.”
Royal Mail said the first retailer to sign up to the Sunday service has been luxury London department store Fortnum & Mason, which has been a Parcelforce client for 25 years.
Customers will be able to order items up to 2pm on Saturday to receive delivery on Sunday.
Ewan Venters, the Fortnum & Mason chief executive, said busy customers needed shopping delivered when it suited them.
“We know there’s a huge appetite for weekend deliveries as we already send out 500 packages every Saturday,” he said.
“We’re delighted that our customers can now choose items in-store, online or over the phone on Saturday morning for delivery on Sunday. We’re expecting a rush on our wonderful selection of essentials for Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner.”
Royal Mail itself is planning to trial Sunday parcel deliveries within the Greater London area from later this summer as it seeks to expand services to meet demand from e-commerce.
The company is also planning to pilot a Sunday afternoon opening for around 100 of its busiest delivery offices around the UK later this summer to make easier for householders with missed deliveries to pick up their parcels.
Royal Mail Group, which was floated on the London Stock Exchange last October, claims a 52% market share by volume and 38% by revenue in the UK domestic parcels industry.
The company’s results in the 12 months up to the end of March 2014 saw its parcel volumes flat compared to the previous year, despite the high growth of UK e-commerce, a year after size-based pricing was introduced. The change saw some parcel volumes transferring from its core business to Parcelforce Worldwide. Parcelforce volumes grew 8% year-on-year.