A new parcel delivery service started in the UK this month focused on solving the problem faced by many consumers: how to deal with deliveries when they are not at home. Not everyone lives in a place where parcels can be left – safe from the weather or thieves – and even if shipping to the workplace is possible, carrying packages home may be inconvenient particularly when travelling by public transport.
Collect+ claim to have a solution to this problem by allowing deliveries to be collected from over 3,500 local convenience stores and pubs UK wide. Unlike post offices, local convenience stores are typically open seven days a week from early morning to late at night, so customers will be able to manage their deliveries at a time and on a day that is convenient for them.
Consumers and small businesses will also be able to send parcels through the same network of stores. Sending a parcel will require users to place a delivery order online, pay by credit card or PayPal, print out a shipping label and then drop-off the package at the nearest PayPoint affiliated store.
Not only are Collect+ offering a more convenient method of drop-off and delivery, they are also pricing parcel deliveries at significantly lower cost than the UK’s Royal Mail. Parcels up to 5kg (11lbs) in weight will cost £4.99 (approx. $8) and between 5-10kg (11-22lbs) will cost £6.99 (approx.$11.2): prices which are around 45% lower than the Royal Mail.
Collect+ is a joint venture between Yodel, formerly Home Delivery Network, and PayPoint, a retail network for convenient local payment of household bills and mobile top-ups. Collect+ has been in operation since February 2009 facilitating returns from consumers to online and catalog retailers. Parcels are moved by Home Delivery Network, one of the UK’s largest courier networks, delivering over 100m parcels a year.
Mark Lewis, chief executive of Collect+, said:
“Customers tell us that it is inconvenient to drop their parcels off during the working day and that they want a more convenient option. Today’s launch extends that convenience to personal deliveries, allowing us to offer a simple parcel send alternative matched to modern lifestyles.”
In response to the Collect+ expansion, a spokesman from the Royal Mail said:
“Royal Mail is continually looking at ways in which we can invest in new services to give our customers even greater control over the delivery of items. As well as extending the opening hours of around 600 of our busiest delivery offices until 8pm on a Wednesday, Royal Mail has launched a trial of evening deliveries in the M25 area to give consumers even greater choice over the delivery of their items.”