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NZ Post asks customers to shop differently this year, as lockdown eases

Online delivery

As Christmas approaches, and Waikato and Auckland begin to ease their way out of lockdown, NZ Post has asked locals to shop a little differently ahead of this holiday season.

As has been seen worldwide, the continued lockdowns and movement restrictions of the last two years has put significant strain on the delivery system of New Zealand: With NZ Post stating demand for online shopping has almost doubled since before lockdown, and that it is now delivering over 740,000 parcels a week, rather than the usual 440,000.

As such, the business is asking Aucklanders to shop in a way that makes life easier for the retailers and delivery firms struggling under the load.

Customers are being urged to plan their purchases, make fewer, but larger orders to reduce shipping costs and time, and to use click-and-collect where possible.

“The unprecedented demand for parcel delivery means the number of parcels we have to deliver in Auckland has continued to grow, and there are limits on what we can physically do to increase our capacity to deliver,” said NZ Post chief customer officer Bryan Dobson.

“We’ve brought on 800 extra people and are still recruiting 300 more, we’ve extended our operating hours and are processing 24/7, and we’ve redesigned our Auckland network to get parcels where they need to be as fast as they can.

“[However], with the current Covid outbreak meaning we don’t know how long retail in Auckland will be switched off for, we all need to do things a little differently this Christmas.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday afternoon that the Waikato and Auckland areas will be moved to level 2 restrictions on Tuesday 2 and Tuesday 9 respectively – meaning retail can reopen so long as customers remain two meters apart and staff and customers wear facemasks.

RetailNZ chief executive Greg Harford, who called for the shift to Stage 2 over the weekend, welcomed the move but said retail continue to struggle for some time.

“The re-opening of retail will provide a lifeline for many businesses that have been struggling to stay afloat, but the road to recovery will be long and hard,” Harford said.

“It’s important that businesses can get their doors open ahead of the busy Christmas season, but it won’t be business as usual.”

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