Royal Mail is to roll out its click-and-collect service ‘Local Collect’ to 20,000 small and medium sized business customers across the UK.
The move will enable retailers to offer customers the option of collecting products from any one of Royal Mail’s 10,500 post offices.
The plans will allow the newly privatised Royal Mail to compete with the success of emerging delivery options – such as parcel lockers offered at convenience stores and train stations – offered by major online retailers such as Amazon and Asos.
Around 70m deliveries were made through click-and-collect and third party collection points in 2013. This is expected to increase by 17% to 82m deliveries this year, with the value of the sector set to grow by 112% from £3bn in 2013 to £6.5bn in 2018, according to retail analysts Verdict.
Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels said: “We are well placed to benefit from the growth in etail. By teaming up with the Post Office to offer the UK’s largest click and collect service, Royal Mail is enabling shoppers to have greater control over the delivery of their items. Royal Mail is developing services and investing in IT solutions to meet the changing demands of online retailers and their customers.”
The move joins a raft of new measures announced by Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene to modernise the service, such as Sunday openings and extended weekday opening hours.
Local Collect is currently used by lingerie etailer Figleaves.