Blog: Universities, train stations targets of Asda's click-and-collect drive

Michelle Russell | 18 June 2013

Asda is to expand its click-and-collect service to business parks, universities and train stations, underlining where the UK's second-largest grocer sees the opportunity in multichannel.

As part of a GBP700m investment this year to accelerate its multi-channel business, Asda is launching its click-and-collect service at a park-and-ride scheme later this year in Nottingham. The service will allow commuters to order online and pick up their shopping from a delivery van when they return to their vehicles after work.

In April, Asda said the focus of its investment had "shifted" to accelerating the expansion of its multichannel operations. The retailer is rolling out a number of initiatives to try to tap into growing interest in multichannel shopping. Consumers will be able to collect grocery shopping from almost 200 outlets by the end of 2013, including from stores and lockers at Asda petrol stations.

A spokesperson for Asda told just-food the move to install a click-and-collect service at the park-and-ride is about "opening up more markets for customers to be able to access Asda products."

"It's about places people walk past on a daily routine ... or in places that might be more rural, they can pick up in a petrol station. This is so people don't have to go out of their way and it's about us seeing which ones are the best."

Indeed, the retail group is developing refrigerated lockers with frozen and fridge compartments for deployment at potential new click-and-collect locations.

The spokesperson suggested the increased focus on multichannel has been about a shift in the way people now shop. "It's about how customers are shopping. They're shopping in different ways, it's not just about going into a store and filling your trolley up. We call it a store without walls. There are lots of ways you can now access your shopping and it's the nature of how habits have changed."

All the UK's major grocers are stepping up their investment in the online channel, one of the few areas of growth in the industry.

However, Asda's views on click-and-collect are in contrast to those at Sainsbury's. In May, chief executive Justin King said the UK grocer had no plans to follow rivals Tesco and Asda and offer a click-and-collect grocery service.

He said he would "monitor" the impact of the moves by its rivals but suggested Sainsbury's network was not suited to the service. "We have smaller stores than our competitors in much more accessible locations - and ever-more accessible locations as a result of the convenience estate," he said. "We think those two things are key reasons why click-and-collect might work for others and may not be right for our business but we watch what others do carefully."


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