Nearly Half of Brits Receive Damaged Packages Costing £8 Billion

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Study Reveals Widespread Problem

Almost half of Brits have received damaged packages in the past year, resulting in an estimated cost of £8 billion, according to a recent study. The research, which surveyed 2,000 adults, found that each person had an average of three compromised items, worth an average of £115 each, arrive in the last 12 months.

Retailer or Courier: Who's to Blame?

The study also revealed that 52% of respondents held the retailer responsible for the damaged deliveries, while 48% believed the courier was at fault. Household items like crockery, as well as clothes, food, and drink, were the most common items to arrive in less-than-perfect condition.

Costly Returns for Retailers

Magnus Renman, from sustainable packaging company DS Smith, which commissioned the study, highlighted the negative impact of damaged packages on both shoppers and retailers. He explained, "Shoppers get frustrated and retailers have to deal with the difficulty of processing returns. Returns come at a significant cost, especially during the busiest season when online shopping is crucial for retailers."

Consumer Response

When their items arrived broken, half of the respondents said they would be hesitant to shop with the same company again. Additionally, 81% made sure to return their damaged or faulty products, and 48% expressed their dissatisfaction to the courier.

Addressing the Issue

DS Smith is working on impact-testing and tracking technologies to understand the journey of parcels and improve packaging design. By using advanced testing methods, they aim to limit damage, reduce material usage, and eliminate plastic.

The Rigors of Delivery

DS Smith's research and development team used advanced impact-testing technology to replicate the stresses that packaging undergoes during the delivery process. They found that a typical online parcel experiences G-forces measuring up to an astronomical 50Gs, which is more than five times the level that would cause an experienced astronaut to lose consciousness and 10 times more than what is typically experienced on a rollercoaster.

The Rise of Online Shopping

Internet sales now account for over a quarter of total UK retail sales. As more consumers turn to online shopping, addressing the issue of damaged packages becomes increasingly important for both retailers and customers.

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