Royal Mail launches Sunday post delivery to compete with online rivals

By Hiyah Zaidi
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 1:41 pm
Royal Mail has launched a recruitment drive to hire around 20,000 seasonal workers this winter (Getty Images)
Royal Mail has launched a recruitment drive to hire around 20,000 seasonal workers this winter (Getty Images)

Royal Mail is changing its Sunday parcel delivery service in a bid try and keep pace with its online rivals.

As of 29 May, the company’s Sunday delivery service is now available to over 12,000 of its online retailer customers.

Previously, there were only 75 large online retailers available for Sunday deliveries, meaning people now have the opportunity to order items on a Friday or Saturday for Sunday delivery.

Why has Royal Mail introduced this change?

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    Internet purchases boomed during the pandemic, but demand has eased as the lockdown restrictions were lifted.

    To compete with online competitors, Royal Mail has said the plan is to transform the business and take market share from competitors.

    Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail said: “We all know how convenient it is to order something online that will arrive the next day.

    “It frees up time with the family, in the garden, or enjoying your favourite sport.

    “Now you can do the same when ordering from thousands of smaller online retailers using our Tracked24 service, seven days a week.”

    He added: “Royal Mail is transforming to make sure we deliver what you need now and in the future.

    “This change will help thousands of businesses to offer the most convenient delivery options to their customers and to compete and grow.

    “The UK already trusts Royal Mail to deliver their purchases six days a week both quickly and conveniently.

    “From now on you can trust us to do just the same seven days a week.”

    What is the plan?

    Mr Landon said the plan was to stoke demand for more weekend orders from shoppers and to grow the overall parcel delivery market.

    Initially, the plan is for Tracked 24 ‘next day’ service, but other services will be added if demand increases.

    Mr Langdon confirmed the Sunday delivery plan so far did not include letters but said it has not been ruled out.

    He added: “I never say never on anything. I won’t say no to expanding this to other services if I can see a market demand.”

    Was Sunday delivery possible before?

    The announcement for possible Sunday post delivery was made back in March 2021, with Royal Mail saying the decision had been reached in response to the increase in people ordering from major retailers online during lockdown.

    The postal service also announced the construction of the largest Royal Mail parcel hub in the UK, in Northamptonshire, at the Daventry International Rail Freight Interchange (DIRFT).

    At the time, Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail said: “Our business is accelerating and this state-of-the-art parcel hub in the Midlands will allow us to seize the market opportunity and continue to deliver great service for our customers at 31 million doorsteps up and down the country.”

    The hub is due to open in 2023.