UK parcel delivery company Yodel has created a new role within the business to focus specifically on developing a strategy to deal with the peak festive period.

Mark Horrobin has been appointed to oversee the planning and execution of this year's Christmas peak, when parcel volumes from Yodel's retail clients increase dramatically in line with online sales. One of the new recruit's first actions was to appoint a peak planning team.

Horrobin's previous experience includes stints within the retail, transport and technology sectors, with senior roles at Tesco Telecoms, AOL and Onetel Communications all part of his CV. He was commercial director at Onetel, which was sold to Carphone Warehouse in 2005.

The peak programme director will report directly to Yodel's chief operations officer and interim joint CEO, Keith Basnett.

Basnett said: "We're delighted to welcome Mark on board, as our planning for this year's peak enters its next phase.

"His extensive experience and track record of delivering results in challenging circumstances will help to shape our peak plans and ensure that we are on track to provide the resilience required to deliver this Christmas."

Yodel says it has already invested in new sites, fleet, technology and training – in addition to conducting consumer research – as it looks to ready its business for the traditional peak period.

Last year, a growing number of customers who sought online Black Friday deals at the end of November completely changed the pattern of Christmas shopping in the UK, with a number of retailers and their carriers admitting they were not able to meet shoppers' delivery expectations.

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