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Major retailers ‘clawing back’ online Christmas order deadlines

Many retailers have “sneaked back” their final online Christmas order deadlines this year, potentially alleviating some of the pressure on delivery firms and supply chains.

Earlier Christmas order deadlines this year could reduce the pressure on supply chains

Research from international delivery expert ParcelHero finds that while many retailers pushed final Christmas delivery dates down to the wire in 2018 to cater for last-minute shoppers – with Amazon, Argos and ASOS even taking orders on Christmas Eve – this is being reversed for 2019.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said: “ASOS has told us its final deadline is 22 December this year, rather than last year’s Christmas Eve same-day delivery. Next has pulled back from 22 to 20 December, as has Harrods; Body Shop has rowed all the way back to 19 December from the 21st last year; and Zara told us that its final deadline this year is 18 December, a full five days back from last year’s deadline of the 23rd.”

He added: “In the last few years we’ve grown used to seeing final order dates inch forwards a little more every Christmas. This year our Christmas deadline tool reveals deadlines have gone into reverse. It’s possibly a reflection of the troubles that can hit retailers’ supply chains at their peak period of the year. Why risk upsetting and alienating previously loyal customers?”

However, not every retailer is pulling back on Christmas deadlines.

Debenhams has introduced a new deadline of 23 December, instead of the 21st as last year. Online retailer Firebox and High Street favourite Gap have both pushed their final online order dates forward a full five days, from the 18th to the 23rd.

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Jinks added: “Some retailers actually revise their final order dates during December, depending on how much stock is left and how their supply chain is coping. For example, shortly before Christmas last year ASOS stretched its final deadline from the 23rd to 24 December to meet late demand, and Boden revised its final order date all the way from the 18th to the 23rd. We expect to see ASOS’ final date revisited again this December as the pressure rises to give shoppers last minute orders.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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