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Christmas shopping chaos predicted as retailers struggle to meet the demand for deliveries

The Royal Mail, Hermes and Yodel are reportedly recruiting to meet Christmas demand

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Christmas shopping could be a headache for thousands this year as retailers struggle to meet the demand for deliveries.

Non-essential shops have closed their doors across England. And there are restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, too.

As a consequence, many people have started doing their festive shopping online.

However, experts have warned that the huge surge in orders could begin to overwhelm stores and manufacturers.

Post office
Post offices will be expecting an influx of customers (Credit: Felix O/Wikimedia Commons)

Recruitment drive

Major companies are reportedly redoubling their efforts to meet the festive demand.

According to the Mail Online, the Royal Mail is recruiting 33,000 seasonal workers. And Amazon UK is apparently taking on 20,000 new employees.

Delivery couriers Hermes and Yodel are apparently adding to their workforce, too, recruiting 13,000 and 3,000 new staff respectively.

However, David Jinks of courier company ParcelHero told the website that it might not be enough.

Read more: Aldi Christmas advert has lockdown viewers in floods of tears

He said: “Even though many retailers and delivery companies are attempting to hire thousands more staff in preparation for this year’s Christmas peak, this might be difficult to do in practice.

“A capacity crisis is set to cause delivery chaos.

Waitrose lorry on motorway
Waitrose has reportedly tripled its number of weekly delivery slots (Credit: Oast House Archive / Wikimedia Commons)

Fully booked

“The double-whammy of families separated by Covid restrictions mailing their gifts, plus a shortage of skilled drivers, could prove a mountain too high to climb.”

And it’s not just sending Christmas presents that shoppers might have trouble with. Getting festive food and drink delivered could be an issue too.

Read more: Christmas: Lidl announces return of mince pie and gingerbread ice creams

The Mail Online claims that Waitrose’s drop-off and collection slots are already becoming fully booked. This is despite the retail chain tripling the number to 190,000 per week.

In some areas, keen shoppers have already snapped up all the slots between 20 December and Christmas Eve.

People shopping
High streets across England were busy prior to the second lockdown (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Other chains have yet to open their Christmas delivery schedules, but shoppers should book early to avoid disappointment.

With England going into a second lockdown on 5 November, thousands descended on high streets and shopping malls in a bid to pick up last-minute goods.

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