Online shoppers should feel ashamed about home deliveries, say retailers

Photo: PostNL
Photo: PostNL

People should pay extra if they want to have their online purchases delivered to their door in an effort to cut down on the problems delivery vans and couriers are causing, retailers in Amsterdam have said.

‘It is not normal to have a pair of jeans, headphones or ink cartridges delivered at your door in a big box while holding up the traffic,’ spokesman for the MKB organisation of small and medium sized businesses Guido Frankfurther told the AD.

The Amsterdam retailers have said they want to embarrass people into picking up their purchases at other delivery points in other stores. In addition to ‘flight shame’ – the feeling of embarrassment about flying – they want to introduce ‘delivery shame’, the paper said.

‘It would be a good thing if people felt ashamed about having their things delivered at home (..). It would be even better if they bought at an actual shop. Finding and buying things in a shop is a positive experience and would cut down on returns,’ Frankfurther said.

The MKB is proposing a discount for people who pick up their purchases at a delivery point and an extra cost for people who have them delivered at home.

Frankfrurther denied the move is meant to lure more people to the shops. ‘It’s the accessibility that is the main problem but the normal shop are under pressure and would benefit,’ he told the paper.


In a reaction Wijnand Jongen of  online retailers lobby group said the nuisance caused by delivery vans is perceived to be much greater than it is. He quoted figures from city logistics lecturer Walther Ploos van Amstel which show that of the million vans on the Dutch roads, only 50,000 deliver online purchases and that they account for for 4% to 5% of delivery traffic in the city centre.

‘Welcome to the 21st century, I would say… People want the have the option to buy online whenever they want. Webshops make life easier,’ he told the paper.

He admits the number of couriers and delivery vans is increasing. ‘Online sales accounted for €24bn ast year and this will increase. ‘What you could do is make big hubs outside of the cities and have PostNL, DHL and UPS work together so packages can be transported in one van’.

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