Malls NOT Seeing Holiday Uptick… Delivery Companies Brace for Pre-Christmas Crush

Delivery companies are bracing for the busiest week of the holiday season

Malls not too hectic before upcoming holiday weekend

Maybe it’s the oft-reported decline of brick-and-mortar retail. Maybe last weekend’s snow days didn’t slow down the pace of shopping.

Whatever it is, today appears to be a good time to hit the malls and check off Christmas list items.

This morning — on the start of the last full weekend before Christmas Eve — some major suburban malls appear to be no more busy than on a regular Saturday.



Delivery Companies Brace for the Pre-Christmas Crush

FedEx, UPS and Postal Service expect record number of packages; a Monday Christmas adds complication

Package-delivery companies are bracing for their busiest week of the holiday season, and one with less room for error.

FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service expect to process a record number of packages this peak season, many of them e-commerce orders, and the week before Christmas is usually the heaviest period. The Postal Service, which makes more deliveries to homes than its two commercial rivals, already plans to exceed its initial forecast of nearly 850 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a Postal Service spokesman said.

One added wrinkle this year: Christmas falls on a Monday, and not all packages are delivered on Sundays, putting even more pressure on shippers and the delivery companies alike.

FedEx may provide a glimpse of how the holiday season is shaping up when it reports earnings on Tuesday. The Memphis, Tenn.-based company said that it expects to handle as many as 400 million packages this season and that it has upgraded its network with a new hub for its ground deliveries and the expansion of two existing hubs.

Patrick Fitzgerald, a senior vice president of marketing and communications at FedEx, said the carrier has a “pretty good idea” of how many items it will receive ahead of Christmas, along with where it will need to deploy trucks and planes, thanks to ongoing contact with retailers.