John Lewis yesterday unveiled plans to allow customers to collect or return online shopping at a network of 5,000 shops and petrol stations.
Under a deal with delivery and returns business CollectPlus, customers will be able to take back clothes, shoes and fashion items for free. The department store chain will also trial a £3 “click and collect” service using the network from the autumn.
The move comes a month after former CollectPlus chief executive Mark Lewis moved to John Lewis to head its online offering in a new role reflecting the growing importance of its website.
An online boom has helped the retailer post double-digit sales growth figures over the past 12 months, but last week the rate slowed to 8.3 per cent, hit by snow and school holidays in England. All three Scottish stores reported gains, Aberdeen up 8 per cent, Edinburgh 11.2 per cent higher and sales at the Glasgow outlet adding 2 per cent.
Set up by Yodel and PayPoint in 2009, CollectPlus has persuaded thousands of small businesses to act as collection points for the likes of Amazon and Asos.