Asos is taking part in a trial of a delivery service that allows online shoppers to have items delivered to a local ‘parcel pod’, which is staffed, has a changing room and an immediate return option.
Staff at Asos’s headquarters at Mornington Crescent in Camden are this month testing the Local Letterbox service through their own Asos purchases, ahead of a wider launch later this year. Selected fashion journalists have also been invited to participate.
Local Letterbox aims to have 500 pods in the UK by the end of the year and plans to open “a minimum of 100 pods across multiple locations all on the same day” this autumn – although the company declined to say whether it had secured a deal with any retailers yet. The pods will be located convenient locations such as supermarkets, gyms, convenience stores and railway stations. They will be open a minimum of six days a week between 6am and 9pm, with some open for longer in busier areas.
Local Letterbox staff at each pod will take returns directly from consumers if they decide not to take any items after trying them on in the changing room. Retailers will be offered a flat rate to offer Local Letterbox as an option at checkout, for both outbound deliveries and inbound returns. There will be no additional charge to customers for a standard delivery.
Matthew Rogers, Asos head of delivery solutions, said: “Asos is trialling a number of different innovative delivery methods within our London head office. Asos staff are a great audience to receive feedback on their delivery preferences as we feel they reflect the views of our customers.
“These trials are designed to understand suitability and convenience factors prior to rolling out anything to our customer base.”
Local Letterbox is trying to tap into a growing trend away from home delivery – which is increasingly viewed as inconvenient for consumers who are at work during the day – or office delivery, with many companies banning personal deliveries.
Local Letterbox chief operating officer Zoe Ombler said: “Feedback already received has proved staff find the concept of being able to try on and immediately return unsuitable items very attractive.”
Local Letterbox was founded in 2012 by Nick Davis, who previously set up and sold logistics business DX Group. Its head office is in Newport on the Isle of Wight.