Retail update: is Click & Collect the way forward?
Primark recently announced it is to trial click and collect services in the UK for its childrenswear, which ranges from newborn babywear up to age 15 years, part of a growing movement of retailers to embrace the service.
The pandemic completely altered how people shop and retailers are now seeing click and collect as the most frequently used shipping method in the UK. Is this the future for retail in a digital world?
Set to launch towards the end of the year, Primark’s pilot will take place in up to 25 stores in the north-west of England, and offer customers an estimated 2,000 options across children’s clothing, accessories and lifestyle products, of which around 40% will be exclusive to the click-and-collect service.
Customers will be able to browse online and add items to their virtual shopping basket before checking out and paying for their order. They will then be able to collect their purchases at a newly created dedicated customer collection point in the heart of the stores taking part.
More details, including the list of participating stores, will be confirmed in the coming months. If successful, the initiative may be rolled out more widely next year.
Louise Deglise-Favre, apparel analyst at data and analytics company Global Data, said the trial, and its subsequent expansion depending on the response, “will help future-proof the retailer in an increasingly digital world”.
She added: “Consumers have long demanded Primark fully embrace digital retail, and its click-and-collect service is highly likely to be successful as 76.6% of [2,000] UK consumers surveyed by Global Data in February 2022 stated that they would purchase from Primark online even if it only offered click and collect as a fulfilment option.”
According to an article in 365 Retail, this does not indicate the looming death of physical retail though. Research by eMarketer in fact forecasts that bricks-and-mortar retail sales will grow between 2.6% and 3.4% by 2025. It just means retailers need to adapt fast, to better reflect their store formats for how people shop today.