A word to the wise – don't get caught out by leaving your Christmas shopping until the last minute this year.
Why? Because the parcel delivery specialist ParcelHero is warning that the trend for later and later Christmas final order dates will be reversed this year, potentially catching out lots of unsuspecting Christmas shoppers who tend to leave things till the last minute.
‘Last minute online shoppers are going to get a bit of a shock,’ predicts ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT. ‘We’ve all got used putting off Christmas shopping ever later. But Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year – and that spells trouble.’
Many stores’ fastest available delivery slot is the next working day, such as Urban Outfitters and Dell. That means the final date to buy an item online and have it delivered is Thursday 21st December. For shoppers holding their head in the sand until the last possible moment, that could be a nasty shock. And some stores’ final order deadline is even earlier, with Harvey Nichols and Liberty saying their final date is Wednesday 20th.
David adds: ‘Compounding the problem, Royal Mail won’t be delivering on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day, leading to a potential logjam for those retailers who still use Royal Mail to deliver their orders.’
But for determined Christmas shopping procrastinators, there is some good news. ‘Amazon and Argos are once more battling it out to offer the last possible shopping date and time. Argos is currently saying it can deliver orders taken at 1pm Christmas Eve before Christmas Day; and this year Curry’s/PC World has joined the last-minute race with a 1pm Christmas Eve deadline as well. But the winner looks like being Amazon, which is taking Christmas Eve deliveries right until 9.45pm for those living in some Amazon Prime Now service areas. At this rate we could see the first Christmas Day deliveries this year!’
Concludes David: ‘Last minute shoppers – and there’s no getting round it, our research shows they are usually men – will have to face up to the realities of Christmas a little earlier this year. Or be prepared to shell out on pricey same day and one-hour weekend deliveries from those limited number of retailers who have woken up to the demand.’
You can check out ParcelHero for a continuously updated list of retailers’ final order deadlines, and final mailing dates for the UK and overseas for all the major delivery companies.
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