Asda has launched a new parcel service that will enable customers to collect or return orders made at third party online retailers called To You. It will be available for customers in any of the 614 Asda stores across the UK.
Asda predicts that if the service grows successfully, it will draw in a further 40 million visits to its stores by 2019.
Ian Stansfield, vice president Asda Logistics Services and Supply Chain said: “Demand for online shopping is ever increasing, with it grows the appetite from online retailers to have physical footprints their customers can access. Not only are we providing online retailers with a presence on the high street we’re also bridging a gap for customers who want to collect or return their online orders while carrying out their weekly shop.”
“This is an industry first: complete, real time, individual parcel tracking – whether collect or return, every step of a parcels journey is tracked and visible to our clients and customers. This truly is game changing.”
According to the supermarket retailer, the service will also benefit Asda’s online clothing website George.com. There is already a click and collect service for George.com products – which has reduced waiting times by over 60 per cent, and enables customers to order items until 9pm to be collected next day.
Stephen Langford, senior director, George E-commerce, said: “George serves more customers online than most fashion retailers so for us this move was a bit of a no brainer, a slicker service, with more in depth data, which allows us to know what the optimum times of day we need to have colleagues ready to serve our customers”
“We can now see that customers ordering for the following day are collecting parcels between 5-7pm but if they miss their day one delivery slot, they’re coming to collect parcels between 8-10am the following day – this insight has helped us reduce waiting times by over 60 per cent. This is data not only helping improve george.com but we’re also able to provide it to our clients.”
* Asda has said customer “shopping fatigue” has prompted a decision to opt out of shopping phenomenon Black Friday this month.
The supermarket retailer, who introduced Black Friday to the UK market in 2013, has decided that this year it will deliver deals throughout the festive season in a £26 million investment. According to Asda, customer feedback has shown that this year, consumers would “prefer deals on value-for-money, high quality products” spread across longer period.
Andy Clarke, Asda president and CEO, said: “The decision to step away from Black Friday is not about the event itself. Over the last two years we’ve developed an organised, well-executed plan, but this year customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales”.
From November up until the New Year, Asda will be introducing offers both online and in store on a range of items. The products include: toys and gifts, Christmas food and drink, and household basics.