With the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium revealing that one in 10 shops on the UK high streets and shopping centres being empty, we can be in no doubt that online sales have revolutionised the way we do our Christmas shopping.
Fast, convenient, and quite often cheaper than the high street, online shopping is now more popular than ever before, and with record numbers expected over the Christmas period, the Royal Mail opened a new parcel sorting centre on Friday, to deal with vast amount of mailing bags and parcels sent at this time of year.
The new Royal Mail parcel-sorting centre in Swansea is just one of eight that will open up to deal with Christmas deliveries, providing 200 much-needed jobs in the area. Other centres in Greenford, Swindon, Peterborough, Tamworth, Bolton, Glasgow and Edinburgh will open their doors in the coming weeks, to spread the workload, and provide the Royal Mail with the additional resources they need to handle the sheer volume of festive mailing bags and boxes.
Online giant Amazon is also recruiting for the festive period, and expects to hire 10,000 employees on temporary contracts in the UK over the Christmas period. Amazon’s UK distribution centres sent out a staggering 2.1m mailing bags and parcels in just one 24-hour period in 2011, and with an unprecedented number of people expected to do all their shopping online this Christmas, this number could increase significantly in 2012.
In addition to shopping for Christmas gifts, 1.7 million Brits will buy food, booze, clothes and gadgets online over the festive period, and by the time the sales hit on Boxing Day, the Royal Mail will have delivered a whopping 86 million mailing bags and parcels across the world.