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Mail strike proves online shopping is the way forward

19 October 2009

As thousands of Royal Mail workers prepare to strike this week, online shopping directory Shopsafe.co.uk believes consumers will buy more items over the internet to combat the lack of mail delivery in the lead up to Christmas.

The Christmas rush is fast approaching and Shopsafe.co.uk says people will look to retailers that deliver by other means to ensure their gifts arrive well ahead of time. With over 4000 stores listed on its website, the internet shopping portal is aware of the damage a lack of a postal service can have on the lives of people.

The strike could disrupt the festive period with a potential backlog of parcels, letters and packages for Royal Mail to deliver on time. But Shopsafe.co.uk argues shoppers are moving to the internet for their retail requirements, especially at Christmas. Despite a reportedly quiet September for online sales, blamed in part on the Royal Mail strikes and high street discounts, a 15% year on year rise in e-retailing is still expected in the build-up to Christmas. In December 2008, UK shoppers spent more than £4.67 billion online.

Simon Crisp, Director of Shopsafe.co.uk, said: "We expect to see many retailers switch from Royal Mail if they have not already. This proposed action will be extremely damaging to the postal service and the consumer, however we would call on all retailers to move away from Royal Mail and find another avenue for postal services. The consumer is really key.

"Consumers are increasingly keen at this time of year, to ensure they buy their Christmas presents well in advance. Understandably this is a serious issue for consumers and retailers alike. Many of the 4,000-plus retailers listed on Shopsafe.co.uk ship through an independent firm or courier and the gifts or items are distributed direct from the retailer to the consumer, or any address the consumer chooses."

"Traditionally there is a rise at this time of year in online sales and we expect this trend to increase even more so as any proposed strike by Royal Mail bites. This can be an incredibly frustrating time for any shopper either buying or sending parcels, letter or anything through the post.

Simon added, "If you were to go into a Marks & Spencer or a Next store on the High Street and buy a gift for Aunt Doris, it would take longer to then wrap it and post it than to buy it online and send it directly to her."

ENDS

CONTACT: Jono Kearsley on 01325 363436

Notes to editors:

www.shopsafe.co.uk is a directory of safe and secure websites and a leader in online security. It provides consumers with access to a range of secure outlets to be able to purchase from

Consumers can search the website by category, item or by retailer and use discounts only available through www.shopsafe.co.uk

www.shopsafe.co.uk measures a retail outlets security, by ranking it with a number of stars. In the event a retailer listed on www.shopsafe.co.uk experiences issues with online fraud, shopsafe.co.uk can alter the security status of the website on its site or delete the link and association entirely.

ENDS