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Amazon and Hello Fresh: The rise of internet shopping is laid bare at Jersey Post

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THE dramatic growth in internet shopping has been laid bare by new figures showing that two million parcels have been delivered locally so far this year by Jersey Post – an average of around 2.5 parcels per resident each month.

nNiall McClure, Jersey Post’s managing director, postal and logistics

Parcels from internet shopping giant Amazon account for a third of the 245,000 delivered every month. And Jersey Post is just one of eight companies delivering parcels in the Island.

The number of letters being handled by the Post Office, however, is continuing to fall. So far this year Jersey Post, which has announced plans to invest £2.5m in modernisation, equipment, vehicles and IT over the next two years, has delivered 12.8 million letters – two million fewer than for the same period in 2017.

Niall McClure, Jersey Post’s managing director, postal and logistics, said: ‘The parcel numbers are gradually increasing year on year.’

He added that last year the company delivered 3.5m parcels, with volumes traditionally increasing substantially in November and December.

The company has also proposed a package of improved terms and conditions for its hundreds of staff.

The postal volume figures provided to the JEP by Jersey Post – which this week marked its 50th anniversary of independence from the British Postal Service – come in the same week that fresh concerns were raised about Jersey’s struggling high street.

Gary Grant, the founder and executive chairman of the Entertainer Group, said that retailers were facing their worst quarter since the 2008 recession, with Brexit uncertainty, high rents and a lack of government support – including a failure to reduce the de minimis level on goods delivered to the Island – all contributing.

Meanwhile, the Jersey Post figures also show that around 2,000 Hello Fresh boxes are delivered every week in the Island.

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The meal kit delivery company – which sends recipes and all the fresh ingredients they require through the post – started delivering to Jersey earlier this year in a move which marked the latest diversification for Jersey Post.

Jersey Post has 24 hours to deliver the boxes, which are kept cool by ice blocks inside, but typically delivers them the same day.

This has been followed by a new food delivery service, No 1 Food Prep, which delivers prepared meals aimed at those trying to lose weight or supplement a fitness lifestyle.

And Mr McClure said other similar companies were currently interested in the local market.

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‘Hello Fresh did their market research into Jersey, spoke to consumers and determined that there might be a demand for it,’ he said.

‘There are other similar companies who are looking at the Channel Islands – and if they get a market somebody has got to deliver it.’

Meanwhile, Mr McClure said Jersey Post had successfully trialled a back-up option for sending goods to and receiving them from Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

And the trial has worked so well that in the future it might consider using the route – which involves boats to Brittany and Normandy followed by onward road transport – to bypass the UK altogether even if a Brexit deal is reached.

‘Something like four million items [sent from Jersey] have an international final destination, the bulk of which is Europe,’ he said.

‘The trials have worked and we know we can do it. The key is it needs to be sustainable. There needs to be enough volume to make that viable.

‘But momentum is building within this space and actually even without Brexit there is a view that actually if we can do this and send to Europe then why send it north first? It is still something we could look at.’

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
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