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Waiting in for online shopping to be delivered will cost the British economy £868 million this Christmas

Research by CollectPlus reveals the true cost of waiting in for Christmas gifts and other parcels throughout the year

  • Waiting around: The average Briton will spend 142 minutes waiting for gifts to be delivered this Christmas – and almost 32 hours over the course of the whole year
  • Time off work: 41% of people have taken time off work to wait in for a delivery in the past
  • Waiting in for deliveries is a turn off: More than one in four (26%) people admit they are put off ordering online in general because they don’t want to wait in for delivery
  • At worst it’s a no-show: People have had experience waiting in for deliveries that have either turned up late (79%) or not at all (61%)

11 December 2013: British shoppers are expected to spend an average of 142 minutes each waiting at home for deliveries to arrive this Christmas, costing the UK economy £868 million, according to an independent study released by CollectPlus, the innovative parcel delivery and returns company, which has led the way in third party click and collect. CollectPlus has over 5,500 parcel outlets, which enable customers of brands such as Amazon, House of Fraser, River Island, ASOS and The White Company to collect their online purchases from their local store at a time that suits them, seven days a week.

While industry group IMRG and consultants Capgemini predict online sales will reach a record £10bn this December, people frequently experience problems when it comes to the delivery of their purchases.

The research from CollectPlus shows the average person wastes 31 hours and 48 minutes waiting in for deliveries over the course of the year, with almost half of us (41%) taking time off work to stay at home to wait in for a parcel. This is either as paid holiday, time off agreed with an employer or even as sick leave; with men twice as likely as women to take the day off sick.

As well as missing work, almost a quarter (23%) of people have missed or been late for meeting friends and just under one in ten (9%) people have missed or been late for medical appointments or important family occasions. Of those who have waited in for a delivery in the past, over 75% complained that a package had turned up late, with 61% claiming it never arrived at all.

The frustration of waiting for shopping to be delivered is making customers think twice about ever purchasing goods over the internet. One in four (26%) people has been put off ordering something online because they did not want to wait for delivery at home, and one in five has not completed an order because they could not specify a delivery time of their choice.

The research also shows that people are more likely to wait in for some goods than others. Nearly half of people are willing to wait for electronics and technology goods (42%), followed by home and garden-ware (35%). Women are twice as likely as men to wait in for fashion items, while men are twice as likely as women to wait in for sport and leisure items.

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus, said: “The internet gives shoppers the ability to browse and purchase goods whenever and wherever they like, so it’s no surprise that online retail sales are expected to break records this Christmas. However, our research shows that inflexible deliveries are damaging the overall shopping experience for customers. Part of the appeal of shopping online is the convenience it offers, but as well as being able to make their purchases when they want, people also want to be able to get their goods at a time and a place that suits them. There’s nothing more annoying than getting home after a busy day at work to find a ‘while you were out’ card waiting for you instead of the purchases you were expecting, which you then have to spend time arranging re-delivery for or going out of your way to collect it.

“Retailers must offer customers convenience in the delivery process. Click and collect services – whether in-store or at third party locations such as convenience stores – put the customer back in control and are a great antidote to the problems people have historically faced when shopping online.”

Chris Webster, VP, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini: “With Christmas looming and the surge in e-Retail sales, customers are looking for increased convenience when it comes to delivery or collection of their shopping. While home delivery is perfect in theory, failed deliveries is a challenge for retailers and customers alike as we try to track down parcels, arrange for redeliveries and eventually collect them from far from convenient locations – what I call the accidental click and collect.

“Click and collect provides the ideal compromise, enabling customers to collect their items at a time and place of their choosing, whether from a retailer’s high-street store, a local shop or from one of the new locker services. So this Christmas, customers will opt to choose for click and collect rather than it happening by accident.”


For further information, please contact the CollectPlus team at the Red Consultancy:

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 025 6500

Notes to editors:

About the research

The research was conducted by Opinion Matters and commissioned by CollectPlus with fieldwork conducted in November 2013. Data was secured via telephone interviews, with the UK sample consisting of 2047 adults. The cost of waiting was calculated based on the following formula:

Anticipated wait in time over the Christmas period

1. The average UK annual salary is £26,500
2. Per week that salary is £509.62 (£26,500 / 52 weeks)
3. Average working week is 37.5 hours = 2,250 minutes
4. Average salary per minute is 22.65p (£509.62 / 2,250 minutes) - £0.2265
5. An average of 142 minutes spent on waiting means a cost of 142 x £0.2265 = £32.16

Based on the UK adult population being 49,122,000 (source ONS 30TH June 2011).

Based on our survey of 2047 respondents, 55% (1127 UK adults) wait in for deliveries each month. Therefore based on 55% of the adult population, 27,017,210 have waited in for deliveries.

If the cost of waiting in for each person is £32.16, the cost to the nation, therefore, is £868,873,473.60.


CollectPlus is a delivery and returns service giving online shoppers the choice to collect and drop off parcels at local convenience stores. Founded in 2009, it answers a clear need for a modern alternative to the Post Office that is convenient and easy to use.

The success of the innovative model is reflected in the 260 retail brands that CollectPlus provides returns solutions for, with nearly 100 added over the past year. Delivery to local store, Click&CollectPlus, is provided to a rising number of retailers from Amazon to Asda and House of Fraser to River Island. This complements the returns offer that CollectPlus provides to retailers, offering a complete delivery and returns service.

With a network of over 5,500 shops open early ‘til late seven days a week; 88% of the UK population already live within a mile of a CollectPlus shop in urban areas and 89% within five miles in rural areas. The store network has grown by over a quarter in the last 12 months and continues to expand.

CollectPlus is a joint venture between PayPoint, the leading retail payment network, and the UK’s leading parcel delivery company, Yodel.


Yodel is the UK's leading parcel carrier, offering the widest range of service options. The company handles over 135 million parcels every year. It has approximately 1,500 clients and a relationship with 80 per cent of the UK's top retailers. Yodel is headquartered in Hatfield and has over 60 locations across the UK, including three central sorts and over 50 service centres.

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