Stores in and around London could be set to face a “logistical nightmare” next summer when the Olympic Games will force many to receive night-time deliveries only.
By day, much of London’s road network will only be open to athletes and Games officials. There will also be changes to traffic signal timings and suspension of loading bays.
The resulting closures and congestion will prevent many stores from receiving deliveries during the day, forcing them to work overnight instead.
Last week Westminster Council was the first to announce a relaxation on night-time delivery restrictions, and a number of others are expected to follow suit. However, retailers say that overnight deliveries could create a “major problem”.
“We’re only a small team here so I don’t know how we’d stretch ourselves to work all day and then late at night as well,” said Gavin Calthorpe, manager of McColl’s Notting Hill store. “My sister manages another McColl’s store at Westminster Gate so it would be even worse for her.”
London Londis retailer Bimal Patel said planning staff rotas would be a nightmare.
“When we receive a normal delivery we always ensure there are at least six of us working, but how would we achieve that late at night? How would the staff get here and home again if the tubes aren’t running?
“The Olympics are fantastic but they will also present quite a few challenges for the retail community which have not been thought through,” he added.