Sunday delivery becoming a reality for retailers

Parcel carrier Hermes announced that it will be launching a Sunday delivery service this summer, as the seven-day shopping experience evolves a step further.

Sunday shopping in the UK was officially legalised in 1994, but at present any online orders made throughout the week can only arrive on a a Saturday or week day.

CEO of Hermes UK, Carole Woodhead, unveiled the update to the company's service during supply chain solutions provider MetaPack's The Delivery Conference on Tuesday. And many of the presentations throughout the day reflected on the impact Sunday delivery trading may have on the industry, with a number of companies seemingly ready to offer online orders every day of the week.

Andrew McLean, chief operating officer at Urban Outfitters, said that any strategy that meets consumer needs should be considered.

"We've been selling on Sundays for years, so the next evolution is how we bring this together with the carriers," he told delegates at the MetaPack event.

The Hermes Sunday delivery option will initially be available as a next-day service, with customers set to be given the opportunity to order their items on a Saturday for a Sunday delivery that will be fully tracked using the latest technology.

Woodhead commented: "The retail sector has been trading seven days a week for a long time now and by introducing this service we are giving online shoppers the same service. 

"We recently commissioned some independent research that found that two-thirds of online shoppers found Sunday deliveries appealing."

During a panel debate which closed yesterday's Delivery Conference, the CEO of fellow carrier DPD, Dwain McDonald, also hinted that Sunday deliveries may be something his company will offer in the future. He suggested that it would be a natural next step, following the increased hours that his call centre staff now work.

These new developments in online delivery services come after leading eCommerce player Amazon began trialling Sunday delivery in London – using its own fleet of vehicles – at the end of 2013. The e-tailer also started testing the service in parts of the US in association with the US Postal Service.

Commenting on the addition of Sunday delivery to his company's list of offerings, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said last week: "We believe we’re just scratching the surface of what world-class customer service can be."