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Retail delivers quickly, but do we really need such speed?

As preparations for the family holidays begin and the sun shines for that one rare day in the UK, Summer is well and truly under way in the retail world and competition for your pound is fierce.

The usual “price led” offers dominate but I have noticed a strange development – the same day/next day delivery, which meets or often exceeds customers needs but is just utter and complete madness.

Retailers are so keen to get your business that they are offering shorter and shorter delivery times for products ordered online.

We have seen a massive shift towards online ordering over the past few years, with retailers carrying less stock as a result of the economic downturn and the advent of “click and collect”.

Customers are ordering more online and stores are relying on speedy deliveries to keep the customer by offering to “order it now for you and it’ll be here tomorrow”.

Just think that through for a minute. Years ago, a big lorry would, every few days, deliver stock to a store. It was one truck going to one destination.

Now, we have big trucks taking individual orders to a distribution point, be it a store or a mail depot, for onward delivery to a town centre or your home in one of countless delivery vehicles.

Aren’t our roads busy enough already?

Delivery onlineCongestion is one of the major challenges facing cities and towns yet we are blindly ordering more and more products, many of them unnecessarily being delivered in almost ­unbelievably short ­timescales.

According to a report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research, congestion cost each household in the UK £1426 per year in 2013.

By 2030 it is forecast, that this will have risen to £2057. Two grand per household! MADNESS!

The annual cost of UK congestion is forecast to rise from £13billion in 2013 to a monster £21billion by 2030.

Are we blindly ­stumbling towards ­gridlock caused by our wants and not our needs?

The traditional answer to congestion is that we build more roads that fill up with even more ­vehicles.

Perhaps we need a long, hard look at what is on our roads and to consider if our need for new budgie smugglers or that must have bikini by lunchtime tomorrow means that our roads become an even more costly and unpleasant place to be?