Shipping and Returns

Covid-19 Updates

31.03.21- Update - Delivery Times

Orders are leaving us approx 1-3 Days from the date of order.

Due to a large increase in the volume of orders due to the current UK lockdown we are running behind where we would normally like to be in terms of shipping orders (our usual aim is within 1-2 days of order). We are doing everything humanly possible to bring our shipping times back in line with this expectation.

Why the spread of 1-3 Days for despatch?
Well, a sizeable proportion of orders leave us within 1-2 days but we have zoned the warehouse to try and avoid team members crossing too much.

However, this does mean that various zones sometimes get 'ahead' of others in terms of speed. So orders for certain categories can trail others at different points. We work daily to iron out these inconsistencies but a true flat level is nigh on impossible to achieve and hence the spread of shipping dates emerge.

There are various other issues that we try and 'build in' to our shipping estimate but the above is certainly one of the key factors.

Covid Related Shipping Rate & Specific Service Class Info:

Next Day

Next Day orders are still treated as a priority and are handled as usual. Orders received before 12.00 Monday - Thursday should be expected next day. If you order on Friday up to 12.00 delivery will be Monday. Orders placed on Saturday or Sunday will be despatched on Monday for delivery Tuesday. Please see below for more info. specific to Next Day despatch.

First Class

With regret, we can temporarily no longer prioritise this option for despatch. However, you can still select it and your order will be shipped on a First Class service via Royal Mail once it is ready. To reiterate, from the 21.05.20 onward choosing this option will not fast-track the order through our system as it would do usually. It will be consolidated with all orders and despatched in date order of receipt.

We are finding Royal Mail's First Class service is still on the whole much faster than Second Class but it does on occasion lag from its usual speedy shipping times. Royal Mail are doing their best during this unprecedented time. We thank them for their efforts and hope you will understand they are under enormous pressure so cannot always be as fast as usual. They assure us that First Class is still treated as a higher priority in their operations.

Second Class Royal Mail

22.03.20 - Flat Rate Fee Just £1.50.

From this point on Empress is reducing the fee for standard shipping to just £1.50, no matter the size of the order.

Many of our customers will be affected by the need to isolate for weeks. We understand that sewing can be a welcome relief during these times and want to ensure you can continue projects without the need for masses of contact.

We can only offer this within the UK and usual pricing (below) will apply to international shipping addresses.

This is currently for an unspecified time period.

Click & Collect

You can place click & collect orders on our website. Collection is from our warehouse address in Lancashire UK. 

For this service please place your order as usual and one of the Empress team will contact you by email or telephone with full info on collecting your order safely from us. 

We politely ask that you do not come to our warehouse before a member of our team has contacted you. This is so we can ensure the very best safety of both you and our team during collection.


Usual Shipping Info

Please see below for our shipping info. We are holding to it as much as possible but it may be impacted by the details outlined in the Covid-19 Updates section (above). 

Usual Second Class Pricing:

Up to value

£10.00 – £3.20
£20.00 –  £3.50
£50.00 –  £5.00
£50.01+ –  £6.00


First Class Royal Mail

Up to value

£10.00 – £4.20 
£20.00 – £4.50
£50.00 –  £6.00
£50.01+ –  £7.00


Next Day (orders before 12.00)

Up to value

£10.00 – £9.80
£20.00 – £11.50
£50.00 – £12.50
£50.01+ – £12.50

NB next day delivery excludes Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays.


EU Delivery

Up to value

£10.00 – £6.50
£50.00 – £10.00
£120.00 – £12.50
£120.01+ – £30.00


Rest Of World

Up to value

£50.00 – £12.50
£100.00 – £16.50
£100.00+ – £20.00


Click & Collect

Select the Click & Collect option during checkout and you will not be charged a shipping fee. 

One of the Empress team will let you know as soon the order is ready to collect.

Collection is from our warehouse in Colne, Lancashire.



Please see below for further shipping info. We are holding to it as much as possible but it may be impacted by the details outlined above in the Covid-19 Updates section.


We operate a maximum wait of 28 working days for delivery within UK & Europe – however, we process orders in date order of receipt and pride ourselves on our rapid despatch. If for some reason you do not receive your order within 14 days, please call us on 01282 863181 or email us at

No matter what shipping option is selected Empress Mills is not liable for any loss incurred through a delay in delivery.

Shipping Times

Next Day Option orders leave us the same day when placed before 12noon.
First Class Option orders usually leave within 1-2 days.
Second Class Option orders usually leave within 1-3 days. However, we do constantly strive to beat these targets.

Orders are despatched during our usual trading days – Monday to Saturday (Saturday Royal Mail cut off is 10am. Carriers for Next Day do not collect on Saturday).

No despatches take place Sunday without prior arrangement. Please Contact Us with any specific requirement, we would be delighted to help.

Please note that delivery of your Order may take longer during sale or other busy periods – please Contact Us if you are unsure or for clarification.

If an item is likely to be out of stock for longer than 5 days we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss various options with you – these include but are not limited to a full refund or back-ordering of the product.

Returns & Cancellation Policy

Please Always Contact Us Prior To Making A Return.

We aim to offer you the very best service including in the event of a return for any reason. With this in mind should you wish to return or exchange any item please contact us first, as there are occasions when it may be unnecessary for you to be inconvenienced by sending an item back.

Alternatively, returns should only be made following discussion with an Empress team member.

Contact: 01282 863181 or email:



Under The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 you have a right to cancel your order* within the period of 14 working days, beginning with the day after your order was received. You must make notice of cancellation, clearly stating your request to cancel, in writing, by one of the following options:

  1. Empress Mills (1927) Ltd., Glyde Works, Byron Rd, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0BQ.
  2. Email:

If however the goods have already been despatched prior to us receiving your intent to cancel you have a legal duty to retain possession of them and to take reasonable care of them. You are under obligation to restore these goods to the supplier (Empress Mills) and, under this contract, you will be responsible for sending your order back to Empress Mills at your own expense, with the exception of faulty or substituted goods, where returns costs will of course be reimbursed to you (subject to the below).

*Orders for bespoke items such as cut length fabrics are not covered by this legislation in terms of being able to return after receipt for a guaranteed refund.

Please always Contact Us to discuss the best method of return.

Faulty Items / Items Which Were Not Ordered

Returns postage will only be reimbursed if the item is faulty / not what was ordered.

Please always Contact Us prior to making a return so we can advise on the method of return – if a return method is used which has not been specified by us then, with regret, a full reimbursement for the cost may not be possible.

If the item is being returned for other reasons please Contact Us to discuss the best method of return.


Contact Empress Prior To Any Return

We want to provide you with the very best service both with orders and in the event of a return.

With this in mind please always Contact Us prior to making a return for any reason.