Customers picking up their DPD-delivered parcels will now be able to collect them from Doddle stores in railway stations and key shopping centres.
Doddle’s 34 parcel stores are joining the DPD Pickup network when it launches on June 22.
Through its own collect and return network, DPD aims to give shoppers an alternative to home delivery, in much the same way as networks such as CollectPlus, UPS Access Points and locker companies such as InPost. Shoppers will also be able to divert their already-ordered parcel to a DPD Pickup point once it’s on its way if home delivery no longer works for them.
DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald says the move to work with Doddle, which as a joint venture between Network Rail and Lloyd Dorfman gives it locations at centrally-located railway stations, will bring it closer to more customers, while also helping it to offer high levels of service throughout the network.
“We set out to give our customers a much better parcel shop experience and that’s exactly what Doddle does,” said McDonald. “Their shops look great, their staff are really helpful and they are in fantastic locations. One of our core objectives was to have shops located within five minutes of most people in London, and working with Doodle gives us some fantastic locations in the capital.”
Tim Robinson, chief executive of Doddle, said: “Doddle stores are strategically located in and around major UK train stations, to make parcel collection and delivery something customers can do quickly and easily as part of their commute. Retailers are now more focussed than ever on giving their shoppers the best delivery experience possible. DPD’s home delivery service is held in very high regard by retailers, but by teaming up I think we can offer both retailers and parcel recipients an unbeatable proposition.”
As well as delivering through Doddle stores, the DPD Pickup network now already includes retailers Halfords and the Rowlands and Numark Pharmacy chains. In total, DPD aims to have a network of 2,500 parcel shops that are within 10 minutes of most people in the UK.
Our view: As Doddle and DPD start working together, is there room for more cooperation between delivery companies? The partnership between the two means shoppers will have more flexibility in where they pick up their parcels. Yet even as online shoppers are walking the 10 minutes that DPD promises for shoppers to reach a local pickup point in its network, they will inevitably go past other outlets that are part of a rival parcel collection network – there are, for example, 10,500 Post Offices where parcels can be collected, and more than 5,800 CollectPlus point, but will not be able to have their parcel delivered there for collection. In the future, it seems inevitable that shoppers will want to collect from the most convenient point, regardless of operator – but what will it take for that to become a reality?