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Neil Ashworth of CollectPlus: Why we’re planning more shopping centre locations


Neil Ashworth Collect PlusConsumers have consistently sought easier and more convenient ways of shopping for the products and services they want. The drive to respond to customer needs has led to a multitude of delivery options, and fulfilment continues to be an important channel for delivering on the customer promise. We spoke to Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus and heard his views on the direction the click and collect market is taking.
In a nutshell, why do you think click and collect has proved so popular?

Increasingly, customers are valuing options beyond home delivery with almost two thirds of shoppers (65%) more likely to shop with a retailer if they offer a CollectPlus type service, according to our research. The way people prefer to click and collect is evolving to include locations where they socialise, travel and gather. To fulfil this demand, shopping centres are increasingly offering click and collect services with CollectPlus as part of their customer service packages.

How does the CollectPlus service help host retailers?

Convenience is at the heart of the CollectPlus offer and we currently have 30 shopping centres in our network of over 5,800 stores across the UK to help us ensure that our customers can easily access our services, wherever they are. Not only is this a key footfall driver, we’ve found that 43% of all CollectPlus customers buy other products when dropping off or collecting parcels.

collect-plus-imageWhy has CollectPlus begun building a presence in larger shopping centres?

Many shopping centres have extended hours, for example Intu Lakeside is open until 10pm on weekdays and offers free parking, which gives consumers an out-of-hours delivery option that high street retailers may not be able to offer otherwise.

This is also a particularly useful option for retailers in the shopping centre, as if an item is not in stock in the store they can offer customers the option of buying it online and collecting at the centre’s CollectPlus point. Similarly, retailers in the centres can direct their own customers to the CollectPlus location for return services should they be unable to process instore returns quickly.

How are pureplays benefitting?

Consumers are increasingly adopting a seamless blend of online and physical shopping, and many of the parcels handled by CollectPlus in our shopping centre hubs are customer orders from pureplay online fashion retailers, such as ASOS and Very, although all of the brands that partner with CollectPlus for click and collect or return services have access to these shopping centres in the same way that they do for all of our locations. Services like the CollectPlus Lounge at Westfield allow them to try on their click and collect purchases, utilising the excellent dressing room facilities, and return anything that isn’t quite right there and then. The Collect+ facility also provides a great service point for people working in the stores to access their own online shopping close to where they work, and without the need to worry about missed deliveries at home.

Will you work with more large shopping centres in this way?

Our retail partners have found the shopping centre locations to be a great addition to our extensive network and were delighted when the site at Westfield, London was named as one of the top 10 retail innovations by K3 Retail.

With customers prioritising convenience over other factors, we anticipate a continued demand for CollectPlus services in a variety of locations and a continued uplift in shopping centres joining our network. We intend to take advantage of opportunities to offer our service in shopping centres as and when they arise.


About CollectPlus

CollectPlus is currently the UK’s largest independent store-based parcel delivery and returns service. It offers a convenient way for people to collect online purchases from or return unwanted items to more than 300 high street and online retailers, including John Lewis, New Look and ASOS – all at their local convenience store.
It is also possible to send parcels to any UK address from a CollectPlus store.

Founded in 2009, CollectPlus was the first business to offer third party click and collect in the UK and now has a network of over 5,800 conveniently located parcel stores across the UK, nearly all of which are open early ‘til late seven days a week. 90% of the UK’s urban population live within a mile of a CollectPlus point and 89% within five miles in rural areas.

CollectPlus now handles in excess of 300,000 parcels a week and in July 2015 handled its 50 millionth parcel. CollectPlus is a joint venture between PayPoint, the leading retail payment network, and independent parcel carrier, Yodel.

Image credits:

  • CollectPlus image library

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