With Americans homebound due to COVID-19 lockdowns, record numbers of online Christmas purchases, and snowy streets worsening a logjam for shipping companies, Apple and other retailers are enticing shoppers to pick up orders in person to ensure their stockings are stuffed and trees are surrounded by presents on Christmas morning.
The worst-case scenario is that “presents could be sitting in a retailer’s warehouse or stuck in one of the carriers’ sort centers as opposed to under the Christmas tree,” said Trevor Outman, co-chief executive of shipping consulting firm Shipware… Procrastination remained as big a holiday season tradition as greeting cards or eggnog. Some 54 percent of shoppers plan to purchase their last gift during the week leading up to Christmas, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Retail Federation, a trade group.
An anticipated surge in e-commerce, combined with heavy snowfall throughout the Northeast, could delay many deliveries, carriers have warned.
Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, and LVMH-owned Sephora are among more than two dozen major retailers advertising turnaround times as fast as two hours for curbside pickup and buy-online-pick-up-in-store, according to a Reuters tally.
“We’ve gotten to a point where, if you didn’t shop early, you’re kind of out of luck, especially with the big storm on the East Coast,” said Gabriella Santaniello, founder of retail consulting firm A Line Partners. “You have to do curbside. You don’t have a choice.”
MacDailyNews Take: As Apple and other retailers and shippers are proving this Christmas: Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
“People who used to be taxi drivers or Uber drivers have started… delivering packages,” Andy Halliwell, UK-based international retail strategist at Publicis Sapient, tells Reuters. “We’re seeing sedans driving around streets full to the brim of Amazon parcels or ASOS parcels.”
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]