The Royal Mail has launched a trial of evening deliveries to aid people not at home during the day to receive parcels and other items.

The trial, which will last for six months, will be available to anyone living within the M25 area in London and the South East, and will cover goods ordered online with House of Fraser and beauty firm L’Occitane. Discussions are said to be ongoing for further retailers to take part.

Royal Mail director Mike Brown said “Consumers increasingly want more control over when and where they receive their orders, and Royal Mail is looking to fit the online delivery experience around the shopper, enabling them to select, rather than being told, when their goods will be delivered.”

Research carried out by the Royal Mail revealed that the online retail market is expected to have sales of £56 billion in 2010. The research also found that 58% of people would shop more online if they had more control over delivery options.

The announcement follows the news that the company’s operating profits declined by more than 70% to £52m for the six months to 30 September 2010 compared to 2009 interim operating profits of £184m.

The decision to offer more flexible deliveries, albeit only on a six month trial basis, should be applauded as a definitive effort to meet the needs of customers and the recognition that a vast majority of people are not able to take delivery of items during working hours.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com