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John Lewis hunts for click-and-collect partner

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John Lewis has said it is aiming to take £1bn online this year and plans to extend its click-and-collect service by forging new partnerships – but no deals have yet been struck.

Managing director Andy Street spoke at the British Retail Symposium 2012 this week, and it was reported that the department store group was poised to offer a service allowing customers to collect items from local corner shops.

A spokesperson for the retailer told Internet Retailing that no arrangement with a national chain had been established, but said John Lewis would be looking to forge partnerships with other retail groups.

John Lewis’s current omnichannel strategy incudes a click-and-collect service which allows shoppers to collect items from John Lewis and Waitrose branches nationally.

The spokesperson said: “In the next year we will be looking to find a partner beyond Waitrose for click-and-collect, but we aren’t tied to any agreements yet.”

John Lewis also said that Street’s remarks about online retailers requiring 60 or 70 stores for a “bricks-and-clicks” strategy had been misreported in places.

The spokesperson said: “Andy was talking about John Lewis’s plans here rather than about retailers in general, even if the logic can be extended beyond John Lewis. He wasn’t trying to generalise about all retailers – some might be able to apply the same logic as John Lewis, while others will operate very differently.”

Street said at the event: “We think we have worked out what is happening in the online–offline dynamic. We have three formats, each of which plays a different role, which means we have a way of addressing all the key catchments in the UK.”

Street added that the retailer would continue to open regional flagship stores, although he said the format would becoming progressively less significant for the Partnership over time.

The retailer has set itself an explicit target of taking £1bn online in its current year to end-January 2013 – an expected 25% of overall revenues. It only passed £500m-a-year in online sales on a rolling annual basis at the start of December 2011.

Last week John Lewis reported an 11.5% total sales rise on last year for the week to 22 June 2012, boosted by a 38.4% increase in sales at

Online-only retailers including Asos are also developing click-and-collect offerings, with Asos partnering Collect+ in March to launch a service that allows customers to pick up an order in one of 4,500 participating stores, including Spar.

And this week The Co-operative also announced a tie-up with Amazon that is allowing shoppers to pick up Amazon orders in its stores. Lockers have been installed in four stores in Greater London – Chelsea, Parsons Green, New Malden and Edenbridge – as well as two further shops in Stockport and Alderley Edge.

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