Royal Mail Launches Sunday Parcel Deliveries
Royal Mail is to start delivering parcels and opening delivery offices on Sundays, in response to the rapid growth of online shopping.
The recently-privatised firm says parcels will be delivered on Sundays later this summer to addresses within the M25.
Around 100 of the busiest delivery offices will open on Sunday afternoons as part of the pilot.
The group's express parcels business, Parcelforce Worldwide, will also launch a Sunday delivery service in June for online shoppers through participating e-retailers.
Parcelforce Worldwide will make the service available to contract customers across the UK.
Shoppers who choose the Sunday service through registered retailers will receive a text message between 30 and 90 minutes before delivery.
Royal Mail said the changes were being introduced under an agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
Chief executive Moya Greene said: "Through these new Sunday services we are exploring ways to improve our flexibility and provide more options for people to receive items they have ordered online."
Union support for the move had enabled the company to "respond quickly to a changing market", she added.
CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: "Royal Mail's announcement about expanding delivery and collection services to seven days a week is an exciting innovation which we welcome.
"We appreciate that in order to stay competitive in a broadly unregulated sector, Royal Mail has to expand its services to its customers.
"We believe that offering Sunday delivery and collection services is the right response from the company.
"With ever-increasing numbers of people opting to shop online, Sunday services are necessary to deal with the growing demand in parcel delivery.
"The union is negotiating with Royal Mail nationally to ensure that postal workers who are affected by these changes receive good terms and conditions and, where appropriate, that work is performed on a voluntary basis."