Royal Mail extends its office hours
Royal Mail is to extend its office hours to cater for people who work, it has announced.
About 650 of the 1,400 delivery offices across the UK will stay open until 8pm on Wednesday evenings and 2pm on Saturdays for those who are not at home to receive items during the day.
More than 200 offices will now remain open and about 350 will join the programme later in the summer, following a successful trial at 100 outlets in May.
Royal Mail spokesman Mike Brown said: "The majority of items ordered online are delivered first time but this investment by Royal Mail will help people who are not at home during the day to receive their item in cases where it is too big to go through the letterbox or needs a signature.
"With online sales continuing to grow, this initiative demonstrates our determination to develop products and services that help both retailers and their customers have greater choice and control over the delivery of items."
Consumers can already arrange re-delivery to their home or a neighbour or ask for items to be taken to a Post Office branch.
Retailers can also give customers the option of naming an alternative secure delivery point, such as a porch or neighbour, if they are not at home when their shopping is delivered.
Clare Gilmartin, managing director of eBay UK, said: "Flexible delivery options are hugely important to the digital economy as more and more people choose to shop online or via a mobile shopping app for the convenience it provides.
"Online businesses equally rely on dependable and flexible delivery services to maintain a good reputation and retain the loyalty of customers.
"The majority of the 140,000 businesses that sell via eBay use Royal Mail as their delivery provider and the extended opening hours will be welcomed by the small and medium- sized online business community."