Royal Mail offers Xmas e-tail help

The Royal Mail is to publish a readiness guide for online retailers to help ensure that they are prepared for the Christmas rush.

Royal Mail expects retail sales over the Internet to double to£2 billion this Christmas, but fears that retailers could lose out if they do not guarantee that every part of their supply chain, from ordering to fulfilment, is working properly.

Royal Mail head of goods distribution Ross Drake said: 'As we approach the busiest time of the year for retailers, there are many preparations they must make to ensure that they capitalise on Christmas sales, especially those that are managing multi-channel operations.'

The Royal Mail's guide will be made available on its Web site, at, from Monday.

The site will also offer a telephone hotline number for e-tailers that want further advice.

Last Christmas, Royal Mail handled more than 20 million items that had been ordered on the Internet.

Online shopping in the UK is expected to be worth£13 billion next year.