One of Europes largest parcel delivery service, Royal Mail will be launching a 'Cick and Collect' service targeted towards online retailers and its consumers in attempts to modernise its parcel service. This comes after Ofcom loosened the regulations last year in order to permit delivery to neighbours.
The Royal Mail reports that the service will be the biggest one of its kind. Its 10,500 out of 11,800 Post Offices that will be part of the service are planned to remain open for longer in order for the online products to be collected.
Managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, Nick Landon said "We are well placed to benefit from the growth in e-retailing. We are committed to developing services to ensure we meet the changing demands of online retailers and their customers.”
The government owned postal service is reported to be in talks with large online retailers this year in hopes to encourage them to add the option of delivering to a Post Office via their websites. It also plans to expand the scheme to smaller retailers next year.
Over 4,000 Post Offices carrying the service will allow customers to collect their goods outside the usual opening hours this summer, timing extended to as late as 11pm.
Last year the online shopping rose to almost 15 per cent to £31.1 billion and it is predicted to account for 15 per cent of all sales by 2017.
Though the Royal Mail delivered 6 per cent more parcels than the letters market that shrunk by 6 per cent in volume last year, the number of letters sent continue to decline due to increase use of E-Mail, text-messaging and social networks. Meanwhile, the Royal Mail aims to raise its share of the parcel market through the ‘Click and Collect’ service. This service is designed to help the postal service compete in the parcel delivery market. However the market already has similar services provided to many major retailers, one example being ‘Collect+ network’ provided by Yodel to Amazon, offering delivery to 5,000 convenience stores.
Moya Greene, chief executive plans to attract investors through the growing parcels business which has strong competition from private sectors.
The Postal Affairs Minister, Jo Swinson said that the Click and Collect service was “a great example of how the expanding digital market is creating commercial opportunities to build a sustainable future for the Post Office and Royal Mail”.
Royal Mail’s pre-tax profits went up by 61 per cent to £324 million, which was helped by the online retail, and parcel revenues rose by 14 per cent to account for almost half the total.
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