This page will offer information on our Last Order Dates for Christmas / Current Shipping Estimates throughout the festive season. First published 28 October 2020, we will keep this page linked from near the top of the front page, via a top-of-page notice across the whole website and linked from all basket & checkout pages up until Christmas day.
Latest updates will be added in the top ‘Rolling updates’ section, but it is important to read through the entire information to fully understand the current situation — which contains detail about possible delays and the current strain on delivery services — and our reasoning for offering such early cut off dates for Christmas orders.
UPDATE 21/12/20: All orders placed on or before our published UK ‘Last Order Date for Christmas’ of 4 December have been fully shipped in accordance with the delivery networks’ advised ‘last postage’ times and are in the hands of the delivery networks. We expect the vast majority of these parcels to be received in time for Christmas.
However, whilst we posted all orders in time according to the advised last postage dates, we are now seeing some issues with some Royal Mail items. Unfortunately there have been recent delays in their network due to high demand and the ongoing pandemic.
We’ve particularly seen this in the last few weeks with a few parcels going through Sheffield’s Mail Centre and Sorting Offices, which are apparently running over capacity currently.
Royal Mail have issued the following statement:
“Royal Mail is working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service we can to all our customers, large and small. The combination of greatly increased uptake of online Christmas shopping, in no small part driven by the recent lockdown, and the ongoing Covid restrictions mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes this year.
“Every single parcel, letter and card is important to us. Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards. This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices. In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding.”Royal Mail statement
I truly apologise if you are affected by these current delays. We did predict there would be some issues with delivery services in the run up to Christmas, as noted below, but sadly some parcels seem to have been affected more than others.
Thank you for your support and patience.
❗️ UPDATE 5/12/20: Whilst we always aim to produce and ship Sheffield Shop orders as quickly as possible, all items are made-to-order and will not now be received in time for Christmas ❗️
UPDATE 3/12/20: All the items available on our Sheffield Shop are made-to-order, especially for you. I’m working with a couple of printers, who are working around the clock, to get things made up and sent out as quickly as possible, but because we don’t hold stock and made-to-order has longer lead times I would like to stress the below estimated dates to place orders to stand the best chance of delivery in time for Christmas. See the information below for full details.
Below is the original article with full details of our estimated last order dates and reasonings. Please read to the end to gain a full understanding of the current and recent situation:
Christmas Last Order Dates for Sheffield Shop items
As we head into the festive period, now is the time to start thinking of picking up special Sheffield Gifts for those Steel City loving folk you know!
The Sheffield Guide’s online Sheffield Shop offers a large — and ever-growing — collection of meaningful and unique gifts based on your favourite city.
However, things are certainly not normal right now! So now more than ever we’re urging you to get your gift orders in as soon as possible to help prevent any issues with fulfilment of important gifts for Christmas.
With that in mind, here is our current forecast for last order dates to receive our made-to-order items in time for Christmas. Note that these are subject to change for the reasons presented below, so please keep checking back for the latest updated estimates.
Date Service Destination 23rd November Royal Mail or Courier Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central & South America, Far & Middle East 23rd November Royal Mail or Courier Cyprus, Malta, Eastern Europe (except Slovakia), New Zealand, Turkey, Canada, Finland, Italy, Sweden 27th November Courier Australia 30th November Royal Mail or Courier Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland 30th November USPS or Courier USA 2nd December Royal Mail or Courier Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg 4th December RM48 services UK 4th December RM24 services UK 4th December Courier UK
These early estimated last order dates are calculated using recent order data and an abundance of caution to try to set expectations. Of course, we’ll always try to get all orders out as quickly as possible, even after these estimated dates — but as all items are made-to-order and with the current strain on printing, fulfilment and delivery across the board due to the ongoing pandemic, I can’t in good conscience necessarily guarantee it to arrive for Christmas if ordered beyond these dates.
Some items tend to be quicker to produce and ship than others. For instance, most items across our Accessories and Art ranges are the quickest to get made and dispatched. Any orders containing Clothing might take longer to make and get out to you though. I’d always advise upgrading your shipping options during checkout for any urgent orders (whilst this doesn’t speed up the production of items, it can have a positive effect on shipping times).
Unprecedented circumstances for online retail this year
The unprecedented circumstances this year mean that online shopping is expected to increase several-fold to record-breaking levels over the coming weeks.
That, along with social distancing restrictions in production, fulfilment and delivery facilities means that there is likely to be a huge bottleneck for online orders from almost every retailer as Christmas rapidly approaches!
So, my advice to you is to start thinking about your Christmas gifts now and order them as soon as possible to try and avoid any issues that may arise.
Monitoring production and shipping times into the festive period
As far as The Sheffield Guide’s Shop is concerned, I — along with our production and fulfilment partners — continue to monitor production and delivery times to come up with an as accurate as possible ‘last order dates for Xmas’ forecast (the table above). I’ve already seen some slippages of expected delivery times from even the likes of Royal Mail in the last few weeks, therefore it is important we monitor this closely to try and get a picture of what is happening when orders leave us. I’ll keep updating this page if any of the estimates change.
All our items are made-to-order especially for you, and social distancing in our production house means our lead times remain a little longer than normal. The production team are putting in exceptional efforts to reduce lead times however!
In normal circumstances items are produced in 3-5 days, quality checked and then shipped using your chosen method (various options available at checkout).
However, for now I continue to advise that production and shipping times may be delayed by up to two weeks at the current time. This has been the case since the pandemic started affecting services across the board. The reality is that the vast majority of items are sent well within those timeframes but there are some outliers that happen so I’d rather set expectations low in the first instance, continuing to underpromise and overdeliver in the vast majority of cases. We all continue to make every effort to get things made and dispatched as quickly as possible.
Note that I expect orders to inevitably increase considerably the closer we get to the last order dates (and with Black Friday/Cyber Monday instigating a spike in retail orders across the internet around these dates too), so it would really help us and be appreciated if you got your orders in as early as you can!
I know a lot of people have been mentioning buying items from The Sheffield Guide for meaningful Sheffield Gifts this Christmas. If you take anything away from this message it is to please consider ordering your gifts as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment!
Visit The Sheffield Guide’s online Sheffield Shop now!
Note: The Little Book of Sheffield is the only item available that isn’t made-to-order and is outwith the published dates. However, the book is a Pre-Order item scheduled for release on 8 December and will be sent via your chosen shipping method as soon as possible following release. We will make every effort to get these orders to you for Christmas, but cannot guarantee it due to shipping delays occurring with all carriers due to the ongoing pandemic. If ordering as an urgent gift or Christmas present, we advise ordering as early as possible and upgrading shipping during checkout.
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