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Retailers urge Christmas shoppers to hit the high street ahead of Royal Mail strikes

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UK Christmas shoppers are urged to hit the high street to avoid the impact of the Royal Mail strikes.

Many retailers have pushed back "last order" dates for online orders to prepare for the walkouts, which come as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Book seller Waterstones has moved its cut off date to December 19, and has warned customers to "expect some delay to quoted delivery times."

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M&S is promoting its click-and-collect service, which has no minimum spend requirement, even as it warns that some online orders "may take a little longer to arrive."

Meanwhile, due to postal delays, toy retailer The Entertainer was forced to temporarily stop its next-day service and extend its normal delivery window.

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The retailer’s executive chairman Gary Grant told The Guardian: “We’ve had to extend our delivery promise from three to five days out to five to seven.

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“All the couriers are in overload because although you can still give packets and parcels to Royal Mail you can’t rely on it to deliver them.

“We had to stop offering express delivery because we can’t guarantee it.

“Every day lots and lots of boxes are being delivered but not in a timely way.”

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In a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, approximately 100,000 Royal Mail postal workers are set to strike on December 14, 15, 23, and 24.

Curry's dropped the delivery provider over the holiday season last week to minimise disruption from the strikes.

The strike has put additional pressure on other courier companies.

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DPD and Evri, formerly Hermes, have both apologised for delays caused by higher-than-normal parcel volumes.

Source: Retail Gazette

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