Royal Mail van in countryside

Bargain hunters in Shetland Islands top the list of the UK’s most prolific shoppers in the biggest cyber shopping event of the year, followed by Hebrides, Carlisle and Kirkwall. Carlisle tops the England list, Shetland Islands the Scotland list, Llandrindod Wells the Wales list and Strabane the Northern Ireland list.

This year, rural locations dominate the top ten list. For many of these customers, online shopping has become central to their way of life as they have negotiated the impact of lockdown.

According to research from Royal Mail, nearly half (45%) of UK adults received more parcel deliveries in the first lockdown. The research revealed that parcel deliveries assumed an emotional significance for many during the lockdown, with more than a third (36%) claiming that receiving a parcel is the highlight of their day.

In addition, shoppers found more stores online in 2020, as Royal Mail research earlier this year found an increase of 7 per cent of new business growth during the first lockdown, many being online businesses.

Black Friday weekend tends to mark the start of the Christmas shopping period. With online shopping experiencing a boom in 2020, Black Friday weekend has also been particularly different this year due to the lockdown in England, moving more shopping online. 

Online purchases made during Black Friday weekend and beyond will continue to be distributed by retailers and delivered by Royal Mail over the coming days, depending on consumer preferences.

“2020 has been a year like no other and we expect that Christmas will be very different for many people across the UK too. Given our unparalleled reach across the UK, we’re uniquely placed to reveal the Black Friday weekend online shopping hotspots for 2020,” said Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail.

“It’s no surprise to see that ahead of Christmas, parcel delivery is as important for our rural customers as it is for our city customers. We understand the important role we play in keeping the UK connected at this challenging time. Everyone at Royal Mail is proud to help keep the country safe and connected and we are looking forward to delivering even more Christmas cheer over the coming weeks.”

UK Hotspots Details And Methodology

The top ten online shopping hotspots are based on analysis of parcels accepted into the Royal Mail network between 25 November and 1 December. This is based on the average number of items delivered to each delivery point in a postcode area. The Northern Ireland results are based on locations where each parent delivery office is located. Items were accepted from online retailers and ecommerce businesses for delivery via Royal Mail’s Tracked 24 and Royal Mail Tracked 48 services.

Top 10 UK hotspots:

  1. Shetland Islands
  2. Hebrides
  3. Carlisle
  4. Kirkwall
  5. Dumfries
  6. Redhill
  7. Reading
  8. St Albans
  9. Galashiels
  10. Chelmsford

Top 5 England hotspots:

  1. Carlisle
  2. Redhill
  3. Reading
  4. St Albans
  5. Chelmsford

Top 5 Scotland hotspots:

  1. Shetland Islands
  2. Hebrides
  3. Kirkwall
  4. Dumfries
  5. Galashiels

Top 5 Wales hotspots:

  1. Llandrindod Wells
  2. Llandudno
  3. Swansea
  4. Cardiff
  5. Newport

Top 5 Northern Ireland hotspots:

  1. Strabane
  2. Newtownabbey
  3. Magherafelt
  4. Ballymoney
  5. Newry

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