Government plans to open up click and collect services to all high street shops have been welcomed by the retail industry.
Under the plans shops would be able to build new click and collect facilities, such as covered collection points or lockers, without making a planning application.
The proposals would also enable retailers to install new loading bay doors and ramps without first seeking planning permission – leaving them well placed to accept more deliveries for local online shoppers to collect.
“The new rules lift another barrier preventing retailers from competing openly and fairly to meet all their customers needs. Companies that fail to take advantage and embrace consumer choice may find that consumers fail to choose them.”
Darryl Adie, managing director of Ampersand, said the service would be a boost for smaller operators and the UK high street. “With an increasing amount of retailers, including John Lewis, reporting huge increases in the use of click-and-collect services, it is quite clear that this method is fast becoming the first choice for consumers,” he said. “However, recent Ampersand research found that only 58% of retailers in the UK currently offer a click-and collect service and only 10% offer non-store locker collection.
“These changes in planning laws are sure to make it easier for smaller multi-channel retailers to compete on delivery and introduce click and collect services. It will also provide the ailing high street with a much needed boost, allowing retailers to utilise their valuable physical presence for fulfilment purposes, offering customers convenience of delivery whilst encouraging them to visit town centres.”