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Patrick Gallagher, CEO Of CitySprint, Comments On The Royal Mail strike:

Retailers will have been busy preparing for this scenario since the union vote was announced in September. No network in the UK has the domestic delivery reach or capability of the Royal Mail, underlining the dependancy of the UK supply chain on one company.

Their biggest nightmare at this point is that disruption spills over beyond 4 November and great effort will now be invested to limit the damage to retailers’ brand during this period. No one can pick up the pieces entirely but almost certainly, if the strike action is extended beyond 4 November there is no seamless Plan B.

In the long term this may even force some retailers to rethink their over reliance on the Royal Mail and, on the other side of the fence, see the distribution industry go to greater lengths to make it even easier for retailers to plug into multiple partners and manage capacity.

Creativity and proactivity will be key for retailers as they prepare for this strike and we have put plans in place to help those put in a tight spot by it, although, like all other networks, we can only do this to a certain scale, especially during peak times.

The Royal Mail has a great opportunity to build on their success to date, fuelled by the continuing growth of the eRetail phenomenon. It would be catastrophic for this to be undone with any prolonged strike action at such a critical time of the year.