Royal Mail tells shoppers not to leave present-buying to the last minute amid fears of a ‘mad postal panic’ that could delay deliveries
- Royal Mail has warned present-givers to ‘Shop Early, Send Early for Christmas’
- Unprecedented demand is predicted by experts who urge shoppers to post now
- The Royal Mail has seen a 34 per cent increase in demand already this Christmas
With millions relying on the postal service to deliver presents to loved ones they are unable to spend Christmas with this year, the Royal Mail is said to be experiencing an unprecedented demand.
Consumer experts have warned that delays, largely due to the coronavirus restrictions and a spike in online shopping, should be taken into account when posting presents for Christmas Day.
The Royal Mail’s official latest dates for posting parcels for Christmas delivery are December 18 for 2nd class mail, December 21 for 1st class and December 23 for special delivery.
A postman in shorts delivers mail in the snow near Consett, County Durham, October 2018. Consumer experts have warned delays should be taken into account when posting presents
However the service, which is experiencing a 34 per cent increase in demand this year over last Christmas, has urged senders to ‘Shop Early, Send Early for Christmas’ in an attempt to avoid disappointment.
Martyn James, a consumer rights expert, told The Telegraph: ‘There is going to be a mad panic next week and before we know it time will have run out.
‘People should post letters and cards sooner rather than later.’
And it is no wonder postal services are feeling the strain with the highstreet seeing 38.4 per cent decline in footfall compared with this period last year, suggesting many shoppers have moved online, according to data from Springboard.
The company says they are hiring ‘a few thousand extra hands’ this season to help with the increased demand
The Royal Mail warned customers: ‘Please post items and gifts for Christmas early, particularly for International deliveries.
‘Ongoing Covid restrictions, reduced air and freight capacity, high volumes and winter weather conditions are all impacting transportation and local delivery across the globe.’
The company says they are hiring ‘a few thousand extra hands’ this season to help with the increased demand.
Around 33,000 temporary jobs will be available over the Christmas period – 10,000 more than its usual seasonal average.