Halfords is to become a launch partner for the DPD PickUp Parcel shop network when it opens in June.
DPD is currently building a network of some 2,500 parcel shops with the aim of having retail partners “within ten minutes of most people in the UK”.
That network will now include Halfords’ more than 460 stores, alongside already-confirmed partners the Rowlands and Numark Pharmacy chains. DPD says it is likely to confirm more partners in coming weeks.
“Halfords prides itself on helping customers with their ‘life on the move’, therefore working with DPD to give busy consumers another parcel delivery option is a really good fit for us,” said Katriona Jamieson, director of digital for Halfords. She added: “DPD’s technology is second to none and as a result, they already have a very smart proposition. We’re confident that our branches and our people will complement that and give their customers a really viable, joined-up alternative to a home delivery.”
DPD PickUp will be one of the ‘in-flight’ options that the carrier offers through the text and email notifications that it sends ahead of a scheduled home delivery. Customers can then divert their delivery to a DPD PickUp point for collection at a more convenient time.
“Our aim,” said DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald, “is to offer a collect and return service with a difference. We’re looking to give DPD PickUp customers an outstanding service experience, from the communication at purchase about their delivery options, right through to the PIckUp shop environment and the welcome they receive there – which means working with high quality retailers like Halfords who share our customer service ethos.”
DPD says its new £100m parcel hub at Hinckley, East Midlands, is now complete and set to open in 2015. It will be the latest addition to a network of 18 new or replacement depots that have opened in the last two years, including nine purpose-built facilities. In all, the company says it now employs more than 7,000 people in the UK from 50 locations and delivers 1.6m parcels a week. The company is part of the Geopost parcel group, owned by France’s La Poste.
Our view: DPD is only the latest logistics provider to open a network of collection points. No wonder there- it’s convenient for shoppers and makes the logistics business more likely to deliver first time, saving on the cost of redelivery. The company, a late arrival into the market, looks to be forming a new kind of delivery network, taking its collection points into larger retailers’ stores, and helping them to benefit from the in-store purchases that many shoppers make when they pick up a click and collect order. But ultimately, we suspect most shoppers would like to be able to collect their parcels from a single, local store rather than have to visit a range of stores to pick up their parcels, depending on which retailer they’ve bought from. We’re still waiting for the carrier-agnostic parcel shop, as pioneered by Doddle, to get beyond the railway concourse.