CollectPlus – the retail-based parcel pick-up network in the UK – has launched its first dedicated Parcel Point within a major shopping centre.
The company, a joint venture between parcel delivery company Yodel and payment firm PayPoint, currently has more than 4,700 outlets within convenience stores and filling stations around the UK.
The new outlet at the Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield is the first Parcel Point to be offered outside an individual retail store, and the first of its kind in a shopping centre.
Meadowhall currently boasts 280 retailers, 12,000 free parking spaces and more than 25m visitors each year.
CollectPlus said the Meadowhall Parcel Point provides identical service to its corner shop outlets, and will offer another convenient location for customers to collect and send parcels and collect online purchases.
Mark Lewis, the CollectPlus chief executive, said his company would see how the new Meadowhall parcel point progressed before deciding on similar locations elsewhere.
“We are growing very quickly, with a network of over 4,700 shops across the country. Last year, the network grew by over 1,000 shops and we are committed to continuing its expansion,” he said.
“If the convenient new location at Meadowhall proves as popular as we expect, we will carefully consider how similar services might be rolled out.”
the Meadowhall Parcel Point has a dedicated staff member to assist customers with parcel pickup and sending
Now more than a third the size of the UK’s post office network, the CollectPlus network doubled its parcel volumes to around 4m items in 2011, and has predicted it will be fully profitable by March 2013.
CollectPlus says its network size now means more than 85% of people in the UK are within a mile of a CollectPlus shop, offering opening hours that allow collections outside office hours.
The Meadowhall Parcel Point is open from 10am until 9pm during weekdays, as well as opening at the weekends, and requires one dedicated staff member to operate at any one time.
The CollectPlus CEO said the continuing expansion of his network was testament to the strength of his company’s business case.
Lewis told Post&Parcel that his company’s model, compared to for example an automated self-service parcel terminal, would mean convenience and peace of mind.
“The main advantage for a customer collecting online purchases at the CollectPlus Parcel Point at Meadowhall is that a trained member of staff on the customer service desk will enter the customer’s code, check their ID and hand over their parcel,” Lewis explained.
“Whether picking up or dropping off parcels, busy shoppers and staff at Meadowhall will benefit from the convenience of the service and have complete peace of mind as their parcel is processed using PayPoint technology, enabling the customer to track their package every step of the way.”