Games retail has drawn up contingency plans ahead of strike action by Royal Mail staff, MCV can reveal.
Disruption to delivery services has been affecting parts of the UK already, which has forced online specialists including
Play, Amazon, Gameseek, ShopTo, SimplyGames, The Hut and Zoombits to source rival postal firms.
“Royal Mail strikes have had a big effect on one of this year’s biggest titles,” said ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta.
“As a result we have had over a thousand copies of FIFA 10 returned.”
Zoombits MD Jonathan Ruff added: “It’s really been a nightmare, and there’s very little you can do about it. There’s not many other options to Royal Mail if you want to offer free shipping.”
Play and Amazon have drawn up back-up plans, with the latter reportedly pulling the plug on its lucrative Royal Mail contract.
“We will be doing everything we can to ensure that Amazon customer orders are not disrupted including routing orders through our other carrier partners,” said an Amazon spokesperson.
A Play.com spokesperson added: “We have put contingency plans together to manage our response to the Royal Mail postal strike. Play.com works with a network of carriers and will ensure we do all we can to maintain our award-winning level of service.”
Online retailers are desperate to ensure pre-ordered games reach consumers on release day. If they fail, they risk potentially pushing customers offline and onto the High Street.