Last week Sainsbury’s said people would start buying gifts over the next few weeks, giving an indication of the extent of the hit to higher household bills. Many, including Sainsbury’s, have had to raise prices to cope with higher costs.
Last month, John Lewis chairwoman Dame Sharon White said Britain’s cost of living crisis was hitting his business harder than the Covid pandemic. Retailers are under pressure from rising wage bills, as well as logistics costs. Rising fuel prices and shipping container fees over the past few years have increased the cost of delivering items.
Then Currys, Argos, Hamleys and The Entertainer all either increased the cost or raised the minimum spend for free shipping.
At luxury retailer Liberty, the minimum order size to qualify for free delivery has risen to £75 from a previous level of £45.
Consumer group Which? said shoppers should compare the total cost of purchases, including delivery costs at checkout, to avoid missing out on better deals elsewhere.
Reena Sewraz, which one? Money and Shopping Editor, said: “Consumer purchasing power has been weakened as households bear the brunt of the cost of living crisis. Although retailers will also face higher costs, they will need to carefully consider any increase in delivery charges. »
A Currys spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible value and we will not be beaten on price. Our delivery charges are consistent with those of other companies operating in our market. »
Meanwhile, Asos said its delivery charges were “competitive” and it was still offering shoppers free returns.
A John Lewis spokesperson said: ‘Retailers are facing rising delivery costs, but we are working hard to bring them down.