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Royal Mail strike threatens Christmas

Ecommerce volume could suffer
Fri Oct 09 2009, 17:01

RETAIL BODY the Interactive Media In Retail Group (IMRG) has voiced its disappointment with Royal Mail workers over their vote to strike.

The organisation said in a statement that it "regrets" the decision by postal workers to take strike action in the run up to the busy Christmas e-commerce season.

The IRMG believes that the action will hit Royal Mail revenues, and damage its reputation as a trusted merchant at a time when retailers are already looking for alternative providers.

"A pattern is emerging of postal strikes in the run-up to Christmas," said James Roper, chief executive at the IMRG.

"With mail volumes diminishing, you might expect the postal union to appreciate the huge opportunity that the e-retail industry is trying to give to Royal Mail, i.e. large volumes of new business.

"Sales expectations for the fourth quarter of 2009, if in-line with current year-on-year growth figures, would be £15.5bn, generating more than 100 million parcel deliveries per month."

Roper added that, by taking action at this time, Royal Mail workers are biting not only the hand that feeds them, but the hand that feeds that hand.

"Royal Mail management's excellent work to engage the digital world risks being undermined by this action. Sadly, yet again, consumers will be left to pay for others' self interest," he said.

Argos, eBay, Amazon and a host of other firms are reportedly looking elsewhere for a postal provider over the Christmas period, something that the IMRG is positively encouraging.

"The online retail industry has been able to put in place contingency plans with other carriers, and promote alternative fulfilment solutions," said Roper. µ


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