Experts are calling on local retailers to adopt more flexible hours as apartment residents in Pyrmont raise concerns about problems receiving online shopping deliveries in the post.
A survey by residents has found that nearly half of all respondents have had deliveries returned because they were unable to collect them in time.
“There are a large number of people in Pyrmont who work in town and don’t get back to pick up their mail during normal hours,” said John Brooks of the Council of Ultimo/Pyrmont Associations.
“What happens is that … if the person isn’t home, [the courier] will leave a card that says the parcel’s at the post office. If the person doesn’t pick it up within seven days, it goes back to the mail exchange,” Mr Brooks said, adding that it would usually be returned to the sender from there.
Mr Brooks circulated a survey to around 2000 residents across five apartment buildings in Pyrmont.
Nearly 20 per cent responded, and nearly half the respondents said they have had deliveries returned.
In Mr Brooks’ own building of 180 apartments, there were 360 missed deliveries in one month, all of which are taken to the Pyrmont post office where they were waiting for collection by the addressee.
The Pyrmont-Ultimo Chamber of Commerce vice-president Ross Muir sees the difficulty in receiving online shopping orders as a key opportunity for local retailers.
“There’s a little bit of reacting to consumer needs and their buying patterns that I think a lot of stores should look at, because … people want to buy on their way to and from work,” Mr Muir said.
Karen Stiles, executive officer of the Owners Corporation Network, a representative body for apartment owners, said that dealing with post is often a problem with high-rise living.
“For those buildings that do have building managers, they may not have the time or storage capacity to manage the volume of incoming parcels,” Ms Stiles said.
“Residential buildings have not traditionally been designed to cater for this situation.”
Mr Brooks would like to see the Pyrmont post office open a hatch which faces onto Harris Street so that it can begin trading with minimal staff on Saturdays.
This may not be just a fantasy for long. An Australia Post spokesperson confirmed that while not all post offices would be open for business on the weekend, the organisation will begin to deliver parcels on Saturdays by the end of the year.
“The extension of weekend trading is a direct response to customer demand,” the spokesperson said.