While concern mounts that shoppers may have ended 2017 on a cautious note, it appears they were more than willing to buy from behind their computer keyboards, with 37 million parcels delivered by the publicly-owned postie during December, almost 20 per cent more deliveries per day than last year.
Two-thousand additional staff were brought on to handle the extra-work load amid the flurry of activity, with drivers making more than five deliveries per household each day on average across the country.
Australia Post’s chief operations officer and executive general manger of e-commerce delivery, Bob Black, said 11 million parcels were delivered in the final week before Christmas, alongside 100 million cards and letters.
“Speed of delivery was a key consideration for many customers, with several days in the week before Christmas recording increases of more than 30 percent across our Premium and Express services,” he said.
“Retailers now offer great deals online during the Boxing Day and New Year sales, which have always been popular with Australians. It’s very much all hands-on deck still, we’re still seeing record volumes through our network due to some amazing sales.”
The postie says record volumes began in November – after the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Click Frenzy sales – and have continued right up to this week, with toys and games emerging as the most popular gift category – accounting for 35 per cent of Christmas deliveries.
The Australian Retailers Association has tipped post-Christmas spending to 15 January at $17.9 billion this year, with more than $2.4 billion flagged to have been spent on Boxing Day alone.
Official data on December trading won’t be available until February though.
Access exclusive analysis, locked news and reports with Inside Retail Weekly. Subscribe today and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.