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Time to end free delivery?

The notion of sustaining free delivery was challenged during the opening session of the Omnichannel Conference, which was delivered by Peter Ward, CEO of UKWA (United Kingdom Warehousing Association) and Mark Millar, pictured, author of the recently launched book – ‘Global Supply Chain Ecosystems’.

Describing the pressure that free delivery places on logistics operators and retailers who want to provide a delivery experience that satisfies the high expectations of customers, Mark Millar said: “Free Delivery does not make economic sense and needs to be challenged. It is not economically sustainable in the long term.“ He described the policies seen on returns as “just insanity”, adding: “We have got to find a way back.”

Continuing to explore the pressing challenges on supply chains presented by omnichannel growth, Peter Ward said: “Against a background of changing consumer habits, retailers cannot afford to put additional touch points into the chain in their quest to fulfil ‘little and often’, closer to the consumer. This means scrutinising existing networks and questioning whether they are fit for purpose.”

Senior figures from retail and beyond gathered at the annual Omni-Channel Conference, which was held at Dexter House in Central London on 16-17 September. Peter Ward will be speaking at the etail Delivery conference in Central London on 7 October 2015 and UKWA will be at the eDelivery conference in Hammersmith on 13 October. For further information, please visit www.ukwa.org.uk

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