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CollectPlus appoints former Tesco Direct director as CEO

Friday, January 25th, 2013

CollectPlus, the network of parcel shops co-owned by UK parcel carrier Yodel, has appointed Neil Ashworth as its new chief executive, it announced today.

Mark Lewis, who has guided the company since June 2010, seeing the network expand from around 3,500 outlets to more than 5,000, has been poached by national retail group John Lewis Partnership as its new online director.

Ashworth officially takes charge of CollectPlus on 11th February.

Lewis’s successor has senior logistics and consumer sector experience at companies including Woolworths and Tesco, where he was “instrumental” in launching Tesco Direct, the supermarket giant’s online retail presence, including its click and collect service.

As well as 10 months as operations and development director for Tesco, nearly six years as Tesco supply chain director and 10 years as supply chain director for Woolworths, Ashworth has held roles at Hallmark Cards and the Cooperative.

For the past seven months, Ashworth has been a consultant working to advise retail sector clients on supply chain and logistics issues.

A graduate of the University of Manchester, Ashworth is a fellow and board member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport.

“Year of fantastic achievement”

CollectPlus, which is also co-owned by payment company PayPoint, said its new chief executive has joined after a “year of fantastic achievement” following the opening of the 5,000th store and a 250% growth in parcel volumes.

The network is currently handling more than 7m parcels a year, expanding its client base to more than 160 retailers.

Ashworth said of his appointment that he was looking for CollectPlus to help underpin a “seamless” purchase, delivery and returns service from retailers, providing a “complete shopping experience” for their customers.

“CollectPlus has enabled both on and offline retailers – and the logistics industry – to rethink their delivery and returns strategies to meet the increasing demands of their customers,” Ashworth said. “CollectPlus has set the standard to which others aspire and I am looking forward to the exciting prospect of working with the CollectPlus team to further develop the breadth and reach of the CollectPlus service.”

The new CollectPlus chief executive takes the reins as his network faces growing competition from other private sector alternatives to the Post Office network.

Parcel carrier Hermes launched a new parcel shop network last July, and has seen its initial 500 outlets grow to 1,000 in its first six months, with plans to reach 2,500 in number by the end of 2013.

Over the winter, a new franchise business called Local Letterbox also started up, with the intention of focusing on mailing and parcel services rather than offering parcel collection and drop-off alongside an existing grocery store or filling station retail business.

Meanwhile, Lewis becomes online director for John Lewis Partnership on 4th March,. Also a former eBay UK managing director, he will be working to develop the retailer’s online and multichannel business at the GBP 8.7bn group.

Source: Post&Parcel/CollectPlus

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