Retailers booed me for saying ‘don’t blame the delivery company, blame the retailer’

Retailers booed me for saying 'don't blame the delivery company, blame the retailer'

Retailers booed me for saying ‘don’t blame the delivery company, blame the retailer’

The internet revolution has turned the clock back to a 1950’s delivery culture, though these days it’s more often a (wo)man in a van, than a boy on a bike. Getting and receiving parcels has become a regular part of many of our weeks – yet this last mile of delivery has turned into a regular nightmare.

I spoke at the Retail Week conference yesterday, a gathering of many of the UK’s major and minor retailers, and discussing this issue got me booed!

My point was quite simple. I explained that when a parcel company is either:

  1. Inflexible eg, ‘you must be in at 2.40pm on a weekday afternoon’, or
  2. Mistreats you eg, – it bungs your parcel over a fence, leaves it in a wheelie bin when you’ve said not to, delivers late, fails to deliver, claims you weren’t in when you were etc…


THEN DON’T BLAME THE DELIVERY FIRM – BLAME THE RETAILER.


I then explained that my hope was that this would mean retailers, which employ bad delivery firms, suffer brand damage (that was the point they booed me on! Watch it here).

Yet it’s important to stir the pot. The point is quite plain, your contract is with the retailer, your consumer rights are with the retailer, your relationship is with the retailer – if it chooses to sub-contract its delivery to an incompetent firm then it must face the repercussions.

Of course if this is just an odd one-off, it won’t be a real issue, but if it is systemic then the repeat nature of it should hurt.

Many people complain about Yodel and other delivery firms (see our poll of the best and worst delivery firms) yet retailers still choose to employ it – in which case they need to face the brand consequences.

The system most companies use for delivery isn’t flexible enough for the modern world. Things are improving, but not quickly enough. If they want us to move online as it cuts their costs, they need to improve the last mile service.

I’d love your views below…

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