ROYAL Mail and the Post Office are joining forces to offer a click and collect service at Post Office branches. Royal Mail is currently talking to a number of large online retailers and hopes to be up and running later this year. Smaller retailers will be added in 2014.
Around 10,500 Post Office branches will take part in the initiative. Some will extend their opening hours (up to 7am to 11pm, seven days a week) for extra customer convenience. Some 4,500 branches will be operating new hours by the end of this year.
A recent Euromonitor survey showed UK customers spend more on non-food items online than any other country surveyed. Online sales increased by 14.9% to £31.1bn in 2012. By 2017, online will account for 15% of all retail expenditure.
C-stores with Post Office counters could benefit from the new scheme. However there is competition. Many stores already offer other click and collect services, Amazon has been developing its Amazon lockers service and Tesco and Sainsbury’s both enable customers to pick up internet orders in stores.