Greater reliance on e-commerce is the new normal in the UK

On Thursday, UK’s parcel delivery firm DPD stated, it would up its UK hiring to cater to growing consumer demand from online shopping created by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement DPD said, it would create 6,000 new UK-based jobs and ramp up its investment in infrastructure to meet the booming demand.

The development underscores a possible long term shift in consumer spending.

Demand for its services had risen even before the UK entered its coronavirus lockdown in March, said DPD and added, the trend continued even when consumer’s access to brick-and-mortar stores was restricted.

“We are experiencing the biggest boom in online retailing in the UK’s history,” said Dwain McDonald, Chief Executive of DPD UK. “We are making this unprecedented investment in our infrastructure and people to ensure we can continue to meet the high levels of demand for our services.”

As part of this process, DPD will create 2,500 new full-time jobs in positions including those in its depots and management; 3,500 new drivers are also being recruited.

DPD also aims to invest $250 million in its next-day delivery services.

Parcel delivery is one of the few industries which is seeing growth during the economic maelstrom brought about by the coronavirus which emerged in Wuhan, China.

As a result of this pandemic, Britain’s economy shrank by a quarter over March and April with finance minister Rishi Sunak admitting that despite unprecedented measures adopted by the government to help mitigate disparities in workers’ wages during the lockdown, it will not be enough to avoid job losses.

A few companies however have managed to stay afloat despite the onslaught of the challenges thrown by this ‘Chinese export’ reflecting their core resilience; last week CityFibre, a broadband company said, it aims to create up to 10,000 new jobs over the next three years.

In a statement, DPD UK’s McDonald said, this online delivery boom is likely to be permanent and is likely to outlast the pandemic. Its insight is based on its conversations with retailers wherein it has noted a significant shift in consumer behaviour.

“It looks like there will remain a much greater reliance on e-commerce in the future – that’s going to be our ‘new normal,’” he said.

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