Asda to open first “intelligent Click and Collect pod” in June
Supermarket retailer Asda has announced that it will be opening “the UK’s first intelligent Click and Collect pod” in St Helens in June. Asda first revealed plans for the new service in September, and President and CEO Andy Clarke confirmed the launch of the St Helens trial when presenting the company’s latest quarterly results on Tuesday (19 May).
The St Helens trial site features three hatches through which customers can collect their goods. Customers who order online before noon will be able to collect their delivery by 4pm that day.
The pod location is, added Clarke, “on a major commuter belt in St Helen’s between Liverpool and Manchester”.
The company claims it is the first 24/7 grocery click and collect point in the UK.
Reports indicate that if the trial is successful Asda may look to open further ‘pod’ sites away from its stores and petrol stations. Asda already has click-and-collect points in all of its 592 stores and – if the pod concept proves successful – plans to have more than 1,000 points by the end of 2018.
Clarke also reported that Asda had seen a 3.9% fall in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, but insisted that the company “remains committed to its five year strategy and won’t knee-jerk at the expense of long term profitability”.
Although there are “signs of a real and sustainable economic recovery”, Clarke believed that “2015 is setting itself up to be the most challenging year yet for traditional supermarkets.”