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Great Christmas for print as books and mail soar

Friday, 12 January 2018
By Jake Nelson

Santa Claus had plenty of gifts for print and mail over the 2017 holiday season, with Australia Post delivering a deluge of letters and parcels in what the national carrier has hailed as its busiest December ever. Book sales also held firm during the Christmas period.

Bob Black, Australia Post.

Australia Post delivered more than 37 million parcels over the month of December 2017, plus upwards of 100 million letters and greeting cards in the last week before Christmas – an increase of 20 percent per day over December 2016. Bob Black, chief operations officer and executive general manager for e-commerce delivery at Australia Post, said it was the biggest month in the mail carrier’s 209-year history. “On average our drivers and posties made more than five deliveries per household across Australia, making it a huge team effort. In the final week before Christmas, we delivered more than 11 million parcels alone, and more than 100 million greeting cards and letters.

“Speed of delivery was a key consideration for many customers, with several days in the week before Christmas recording increases of more than 30 percent across our Premium and Express services,” Black said, adding that more than 2000 extra staff were employed to handle the record volumes brought on by a spike in online shopping: total online sales grew by 15 percent last year over 2016.

Joel Becker, ABA.

There was also good news for booksellers, with sales of printed books strong over the holiday period despite soaring temperatures and wild weather events. “The response we’ve had from our members is that it was a sluggish start but otherwise very strong,” said Joel Becker, CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association. “The fact that Christmas was on a Monday meant there was a full weekend of sales leading up to it.”

Australia’s book market is worth $2.4 billion dollars, of which 27 percent of sales are made online through sites such as Booktopia.

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