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Challenge for stores

Shoppers urge retailers to set up click & collect facilities

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Shoppers want to buy online and collect at their convenience

Time-pressed shoppers want more click & collect facilities as new research shows they could be a lifeline for struggling retailers.

A third of retailers report in-store sales increasing after setting up such a facility and 90% are now planning to invest in the service over the next five years.

Almost the same number (87%) say click & collect is their fastest growing delivery option, with seven in ten shoppers (68%) now choosing to pick up online orders in-store.

The UK Click & Collect market set to grow 45% to £10 billion by 2023, according to new research by Barclaycard.

Convenience appears to be a driving factor behind the click & collect trend, with 42% of consumers saying that they rely on these services because they are out during the day, and a further 15% select this option because they cannot have deliveries sent to work. 

Against a backdrop of widespread store closures taking place across the UK, 60% of Brits are calling on businesses to team up so that they can collect purchases in more locations. Nearly three in ten customers (29%) already pick up items ordered online at local shops or lockers, and 68% of retailers expect demand for this to increase in the next year.

John Lewis recently extended its click & collect trial with Co-op, and Amazon, which allows customers to collect packages from Next stores.

Over eight in ten customers (85%) say they buy additional items in store when using the service, while more than three quarters of retailers (77%) report reduced return volumes, which ultimately saves them the cost of processing refunds and restocking goods.

Yet, despite consumer demand, fewer than 17% have started offering third-party collection services that allow shoppers to pick up purchases from other locations, such as local corner shops or lockers. 

Kirsty Morris, director, Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said“Not only does click & collect offer merchants the opportunity to increase sales, our research shows it can improve the overall customer experience as a complement to online shopping, while reducing return volumes too.   

“With the retail sector facing unprecedented challenges, investing in click & collect partnerships should be part of a long-term strategy for retailers to encourage shoppers into stores and respond to the changing shape of the nation’s high streets.”

Analysts believe the click & collect trend may help the survival of some retailers as new figures for the Scottish Retail Consortium show another slump in sales, prompting a warning that some stores face a make-or-break few months.

Total sales in Scotland slumped last month by 1.9%, the fifth successive monthly fall. Like-for-like sales declined by 2.3% compared to last year. This compares with a 0.9% rise in sales in September 2018.

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG which compiled the data, said: “The next few months could be make-or-break for many of Scotland’s most high-profile brands. A clear strategy will be essential, focusing on cost reduction, sales maximisation and supply chain efficiencies.”

Influencers ’cause rise in fast fashion

Social media influencers are responsible for the rise in the throw away fashion culture, according to a survey.

More than half (54%) of those asked in a survey say influencers are behind the rise in so-called fast fashion.

The figure is even higher amongst younger generations, with almost three quarters (73%) of those aged between 18 and 24 and 68% of 25-34-year-olds disclosing that they believe influencers can be held accountable for the rise in disposable fashion.

Influencers can earn huge sums by promoting products and their emergence has coincided with the new trend for cheap clothing, often worn only once.

It has been a source of alarm among environmental campaigners due to the huge surge in clothes being sent to landfill.

Influencers now hold enormous sway over what people wear by posting pictures of themselves in a variety of outfits on social media.

The research by the Fashion Retail Academy revealed that photo sharing site Instagram has grown into one of the top sources of fashion inspiration, with 17% of people using it to find the latest trends compared to just 8% five years ago.

Adverts on social media have also grown more influential as 13% of people say they have an impact on their fashion-buying decisions, compared to 7% five years ago.



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