Retailers’ final online order dates for Christmas are too optimistic, says parcel delivery company

Date published: 18 November 2021

A parcel delivery company says last order deadlines for Christmas provided by online retailers should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Home delivery company ParcelHero says the impact of driver shortages, Brexit and Covid means that many of the suggested deadlines look overconfident.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., predicts last-minute shoppers could be in for a shock this year.  "Retailers have mostly stuck to the final deadline dates for online Christmas orders that they quoted last year and, in fact, some have stretched their last order dates even closer to the big day. This is a move that we think is misguided and could backfire.

"We’re advising online shoppers not to rely on stores’ last order dates. Keep consulting our final deadline tool to see if stores have woken up, smelled the eggnog and decided to introduce more realistic deadlines.

"Our research shows that Christmas online sales rose by a stunning 56% last year compared to 2019. This year, 1 in 3 shoppers plan to buy entirely online. In normal times, retailers and their delivery partners could cope with the expected increase in orders. This year, problems getting goods delivered into the UK because of ports delays, container shortages and Customs red tape due to Brexit mean less stock and supply chain disruption.

"The well-publicised shortage of truck drivers means that, once goods actually reach Britain, stores are also having a hard time getting them into distribution centres and onto the shelves.

ParcelHero has consulted with some of the country’s leading stores to unwrap their Christmas final order deadlines.

Here are the retailers with some of the earliest and latest final Christmas order deadlines.

Earliest deadlines:
•    Dell: 2 December, selected items including some laptops; 17 December, all orders
•    HP: 16 December
•    All Saints: 18 December
•    Conran: 19 December
•    Pets at Home: 20 December

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

David Jinks says some of the deadlines are extremely ambitious.  "We still believe that planning for any same-day deliveries on Christmas Eve is too optimistic this year, though this date is achievable for in-store collection.

"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.

ParcelHero has an online tool to help with final order and delivery dates.

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