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Asda aims to turbocharge click and collect with new ‘intelligent’ pods

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Asda plans to turbocharge its click and collect strategy with the roll out of intelligent pods that store food and general merchandise ordered online until the customer picks them up.

The pods are scheduled for rollout early next year, predominantly in London and the South East, in line with the supermarket’s expansion strategy. The introduction of intelligent pods, says Asda, will be able to process ten times more customer orders than existing click and collect outlets. Those outlets currently include London Underground stations, temperature controlled self-service lockers at its Pudsey, Leeds, store, and drive through click and collect points at a number of stores. Asda says that today 10% of all online orders are collected in stores, with more than 20,000 customers a week using the service to buy food. It predicts that within five years, 30% of all online orders will be collected in stores.

The intelligent pod service uses technology developed in Holland, that is exclusive to Asda in the UK, and that sees orders delivered to a standalone temperature controlled unit. Customers collect their order whenever suits them in a transaction set to take just a minute.

“We know that a convenient and great value shopping experience is important to customers,” said Asda chief executive and president Andy Clarke. “Asda is already known as a market leader in value and we have set out a clear ambition to lead online as part of our five-year strategy. Our existing grocery home shopping offer is already growing at more than 20% year on year, and this exciting new click and collect technology will allow us to bring Asda value to even more customers – particularly in London and the South East.”

Dutch entrepreneurs Peter Pompen and Henk Niemansverdriet will work closely with the Asda click and collect team in the rollout. Niemansverdriet said: “It’s a unique system that is flexible, sustainable and reliable so that all goods remain super fresh. Click and collect is already making a difference in grocery shopping – we have no doubt it will be just as much a success for Asda in the UK and we’re pleased we can be working with such a forward-thinking company which has its customers at heart.”

The click and collect pod rollout will come alongside an Asda expansion plan that sees 30 new stores opening in 2014 and 2015.

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