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Amazon's growth is no red letter day for Royal Mail

By Margaret Canning

No company is safe from the inexorable advance of Amazon, it seems - not even an old stager like Royal Mail.

One year on from its flotation, the company said that Seattle-based Amazon's decision to establish its own next-day delivery network was behind its drastic revision of its anticipated growth rate in parcel delivery.

After predicting a growth rate of 6% at the time of its flotation, it said it would now be 1% or 2% for the next two years.

Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos in a garage, has enriched the lives of many of us - but few could have foreseen the extent to which it has come to dominate many sectors.

After garnering a reputation for selling cheap books and DVDs, it increased its ranges and now makes its own TV content - and pretty acclaimed TV content at that.

The critical fawning over shows like Transparent demonstrates that Amazon isn't going to do anything by halves.

But entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland haven't exactly been slow to boldly go where Jeff Bezos went before.

Both Adam Ewart of Sendmybag and Paul Stewart of Unibaggage have figured out cheaper ways of sending luggage by post - and Stewart recently launched FETCH, an app for same-day delivery of a host of items from electronics to grocery.

Could the Amazon of the future spring from Northern Ireland shores?

They'll need to be pretty nimble to steal a march on Bezos.

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