Royal Mail is set to pilot Sunday deliveries of orders from retailers amid the growing ecommerce boom.

The Royal Mail said the pilot would open the possibility of seven-day deliveries, as the Royal Mail seeks to recover from coronavirus-related delays and compete with private companies such as Hermes and DPD, which deliver every day of the week. 

It said “a number of retail brands are trialling the service” but would not name them. 

The move comes as the ecommerce boom triggered by the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing down one year on from the beginning of the crisis. 

Recent data from IMRG Capgemini showed that online sales rose 69.5% year on year in February. 

Though this was lower than the all-time high of 74% growth in January, it was still well above the rolling three-, six- and 12-month averages of 57.1%, 42.5% and 42.7% growth year on year respectively.

Royal Mail chief commercial officer Nick Landon said: “The last year has reset so many customer expectations and the desire for even more convenient and even more frequent parcel deliveries has certainly been one of them.”

Customers were hit with delays over Christmas as Royal Mail dealt with “exceptional” volumes of deliveries. It still carries warnings on its website of possible coronavirus-related delays. 

Royal Mail has hired an extra 10,000 temporary workers to deal with increased demand and has recently opened a new distribution centre in Daventry.