John Lewis managing director Andy Street has revealed the department store is currently spending more on logistics for home delivery and click-and-collect services than on its bricks-and-mortar stores.
“Click and collect is the phenomenon in the UK at the moment,” he told delegates at a forum held by property networking club Movers and Shakers at the end of last week.
“All our research says that, however many of our customers are shopping online, those same people want to go into our shops. We want to get to a point where it doesn’t matter where the transaction is made – whether it be online or in-store – it’s actually about loyalty to the brand and how the two come together.”
The retailer is also planning to increase its real estate portfolio. “We are expanding physically,” he said. “We have eight locations we have agreed on at the moment and probably another eight that we are in discussions about.”
Charles Maudsley, head of retail at London-based property investment company British Land, said issues associated with online retail such as home delivery and click-and-collect were having an increasing influence on property decisions for retailers.
“At some of the small retail parks – those which are out of town and easy to get to – click and collect accounts for up to 35% of sales,” he said. “Some firms are renewing leases on these parks because that’s where they get the greatest number of returns, for example.”