Christmas 2014: Amazon delivering until December 24, while Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and Asos face capacity problems

 
Catherine Neilan
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Online shopping: Don't panic, you still have a few days left to get those Christmas presents (Source: Getty)
Worried you've left it too late to order Christmas presents online? You need to get your skates on if you want to avoid paying for special delivery, but some retailers are offering premium services up to the last minute.
A new survey of retailers has found a number of businesses that promise to deliver as late as December 24 to get there before the big day.
Amazon is offering a special same day delivery for Christmas Eve - as long as you order before 9am on the day you can have it that evening, for the cost of £14.99.
There are several other retailers who are delivering until December 23. Ecommerce consultancy Practicology, which publishes a weekly Fulfillment Index, has found that of the 50 retailers it monitors, 13 offered guaranteed next day delivery up to what we're calling Christmas Eve-Eve.
Fashion etailers including Very.co.uk, Topshop, Littlewoods, Debenhams, Asos and sportswear business Sports Direct are among those named as offering a premium next-day service that runs up to December 23.
John Lewis' premium delivery date runs until December 22.
Within the index Screwfix is the only retailer offering free standard delivery in time for Christmas until that date, although Paperchase is providing customers who select standard delivery after its cut off date of December 19 a free upgrade to its next day delivery, which runs until December 23.
But you will have to get your skates on if you want don't want to pay extra. Matalan and Mamas & Papas were among those with the earliest cut off time for standard delivery – Wednesday December 17 (AKA tomorrow).
However there are a number of retailers that might not get orders to you in time because of “delivery capacity problems”, largely as a result of Black Friday.
They included:
  • Asos, which was not able to offer next-day delivery to Collect+ (but can do for home delivery)
  • JD Sports, which was reporting delivery problems due to a fire at a Hermes distribution centre
  • Marks & Spencer, which has extended its delivery times due to high demand
  • House of Fraser, which has extended some delivery times due to the Brand Event it has been running in the past week
  • Halfords, which is still experiencing delays in fulfilment of up to 48 hours following Cyber Monday

Retail expert Vicki Day told City A.M Thursday December 18 would be the peak for online shopping.

"There's going to be a mini-meltdown," she said, noting that some retailers were still struggling to keep up with demand. "If you weren't ready to have an online Christmas after 2010, you were a fool."

In-store purchases would probably peak on Monday December 22. "It'll be hell on the shop floor that day," she said. "Come Monday lunchtime if you're not a retailer, it's time to hide."

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