CollectPlus opens door to new carriers

The CEO of click and collect network CollectPlus Neil Ashworth has said that the door is open for new carriers to work with the network of more than 6000 parcel shops.

The company was set up in 2009 as a joint venture between Yodel and the retail payment network PayPoint. In December the partner companies agreed that PayPoint is now free to set up agreements with new parcel carriers under license.

This now means that CollectPlus is the UK’s biggest independent parcel store network.

Ashworth has said that CollectPlus has the technology to enable integration with other carriers. Already the company says that it is in negotiations with some major players.

“We can’t name names yet, but we are in conversations with other partners,” said Ashworth. “We would hope to be in a position to make an announcement later this year.”

While the negotiations take place, CollectPlus is also focusing on growing its network of parcel stores. While it has 6000 stores, this should be measured in breadth and density of the network: 91% of the UK’s urban population live within one mile of a CollectPlus parcel store, while almost 90% of the rural population are within five miles of a parcel store.

But, added Ashworth, CollectPlus also recognizes the importance of having sufficient parcel stores in those regions of the UK where the population is relatively sparse – even though they won’t contribute so much to those impressive coverage figures – in order to justify its billing as a national service.

“We cover every part of the UK and it is a one-price service. We don’t charge a premium for different regions,” emphasized Ashworth.

Furthermore, said Ashworth, CollectPlus is keenly aware of how the UK retail landscape has been changing over the past decade.

“There will be parts of the UK where retailers will be closing down shops because they are not economically viable. In places like these, online shopping and CollectPlus parcel stores can be a lifeline.”  
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