John Lewis is to allow customers to return fashion items that they have ordered online to more than 5,000 convenience stores, including newsagents and petrol stations, after signing up to a trial of Collect Plus.
The retailer, which through the same partnership also plans to introduce a Click & Collect+ service across selected regions in the autumn, said its trial of the free-to-use Collect Plus service would enable consumers to return purchases at a time and location convenient to them.
This marks the fruition of an announcement last June by Andy Street, John Lewis's managing director, that he was seeking new partners to expand its Click & Collect service into small towns across the UK where it has no presence.
The agreement with Collect Plus, which already works with 160 retail brands including House of Fraser, Asos and Very.co.uk, gives John Lewis access to a network of 5,000 stores, all of which are open early in the morning until late at night, seven days a week.
From early autumn, John Lewis will also trial a Click & Collect service with Collect Plus in Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of south-west England. Customers will be able to order fashion items online and pick them up around three days later from one of the scheme’s 5,000 stores. The service will cost £3.
It will extend John Lewis's existing Click & Collect service, which is available at 234 collection points across John Lewis Partnership stores including Waitrose. The service has proved successful, accounting for 35% of online sales over Christmas.
Karen Dracou, John Lewis's head of omnichannel development, said: "By partnering with Collect Plus, we can extend our existing reach of John Lewis and Waitrose collection points to a wider geographical base, providing an even more convenient way for our customers to shop."
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