Shoppers will be able to pick-up goods in Asda supermarkets that they have ordered from other online retailers as part of a new service launched today by the Walmart-owned chain to boost footfall in its stores.
The retailer said the new service, called ToYou, allows customers to collect and return orders placed with third parties at any one of its 614 stores nationwide, with online fashion retail Missguided the first to sign up to the service. It will also offer live tracking, so that customers can keep an eye on their parcels.
If successful, Asda predicts the service could bring an extra 40m visits per year by 2019 into its stores.
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," Ian Stansfield, Asda's vice president of logistics services and supply chain said.
Asda, which has had a tough time of late after posting the worst quarterly sales decline in its history, said the service will also help improve its clothing arm George by extending the cut-off point for ordering online for next day collection to 9pm and allowing customers to track their parcels.
Britain's embattled supermarkets have seen footfall decline at their bigger stores as consumers order increasingly online and ditch their big weekly shop in favour of more frequent visits to their local convenience stores. Competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl has piled further pressure on the Big Four.
These changing consumer consumer shopping habits has prompted retailers to think more creatively about how they make the best use of space in their larger stores. Tesco has opened Harris + Hoole coffee shops, Giraffe restaurants and community rooms within its stores.
Meanwhile Sainsbury's has launched Jessops camera concessions in some of its shops. Argos has also tapped into the parcel service by allowing eBay customers to pick up their goods in stores. Last month the retailer extended its tie-up by agreeing to deliver the parcels on behalf of eBay seller to consumers.