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Evidence points to a click and collect Christmas

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There’s mounting evidence that the popularity of click and collect grew strongly in the run-up to Christmas.

John Lewis has said that 52% of online orders were picked up via click and collect this Christmas, with use of the delivery method up by 14.5% compared to last year. Some 18.5% more orders were picked up in branches of its sister supermarket Waitrose . Shop Direct has said that more than a quarter (1.8m) of the total 6.9m parcels it sent out over the period were picked up from CollectPlus locations. That means a 20% increase, year-on-year, in click and collect.

The delivery method was pioneered by Argos (pictured), and has grown in popularity over recent years.

CollectPlus itself said today that it had handled 25% more parcels for 26% more customers between October and December 2016 than it did in the same period in the previous year. Volumes in November alone were up by 29%, while December was ahead by 25%. That, it said, meant that click and collect was growing in popularity faster than the online shopping sector, which the British Retail Consortium put at 10.9% in November and 7.2% in December.

It enabled pureplays such as Very and Asos to offer next-day delivery to a local convenience store in the CollectPlus network up to December 23. The last parcel was collected at 11.19pm on December 24 in the West Midlands. It says that customers preferred to pick up near to where they were shopping in-store, rather than wait in for deliveries. Its shopping centre collection points, which include Trinity Leeds and Brent Cross, outperformed many traditional locations for the first time.

Neil Ashworth, chief executive of CollectPlus, said: “Use of our service has grown throughout 2016, with our total Click & Collect volume up significantly on last year. However, it is at Christmas that the delivery option comes into its own with customers demonstrating their confidence in Click & Collect as a convenient and reliable way to buy online. And this increased faith is reflected in the number of parcels we handled during the 2016 peak season.

“December saw an increasing number of Click & Collect customers shopping even closer to Christmas as they were confident they would still be able to collect their purchases in time for the big day. We’re pleased that we were able to facilitate this trend and ensure people were able to secure the perfect presents for their loved ones. Something that will continue to be a focus for us going into 2017.”

The growth comes as CollectPlus’ customer base expanded quickly: 16 new brands including Levi’s, Adidas, and L’Occitane offered its service for the first time CollectPlus in 2016, joining John Lewis, House of Fraser, Shop Direct and New Look and taking the number of CollectPlus Click and Collect retail partners to more than 90.

Phil Hackney, group operations director at Shop Direct , whose brands include, Very Exclusive and, said: “Thanks to shoppers reaching for their smartphones, we are on track to deliver another record year of sales and profits for the 2016/ 2017 period. We have increased group sales by 9% year-on-year, which is helped in part by the smooth running of our Click & Collect services, provided by CollectPlus, with a quarter of our total parcels delivered to CollectPlus locations for customers to collect.

“As the UK’s second largest pure play etailer with no physical stores, the delivery of our products is of utmost importance, and the ease and convenience of the CollectPlus network allows us to make our range of over 1,300 famous brands more accessible to more people, and ultimately provide the best service possible for our customers.”

CollectPlus also added 39 new brands, including Mamas and Papas and Foot Asylum, to its Returns portfolio; many are considering extending their delivery options to include the company’s Click & Collect service in 2017.

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