Morrisons has entered an unlikely partnership with Next to launch a range of click & collect delivery and return “pods” at its stores.
These pods, which are now being trialled in two Morrisons stores across the UK, will allow shoppers to collect and return online purchases from the high street fashion retailer contactlessly.
According to Morrisons, the initiative is designed to facilitate shoppers in areas without a nearby physical Next outlet, and is currently being tested in Leominister, Hereforshire and Canvey Island, Essex.
“For me it shows that Next are putting muscle behind trying to work this out. Returns especially is still the dirty secret of online fashion,” retail tech startup Uncrowd’s chief executive Richard Hammond commented.
“I suspect too that teaming up with grocers like this has a strong element of socialising the idea of x people go past per week = increase in the ability to persuade some of those people that this is the way to collect and return for fashion.”
It comes as grocers and fashion retailers alike invest heavily in expanding their customers’ access to contactless, convenient delivery options
Morrisons has launched significant ventures with both Amazon and Deliveroo this year in an effort to rapidly increase the reach of its online delivery service in response to this year’s online shopping boom.
Fashion retailers like Next, who have had their high street stores closed for much of the year, have also been turning to initiatives like this to increase their exposure to what retail footfall remains.
In July Missguided partnered with InPost, a company which offers click & collect delivery and returns lockers much like the ones being trialled by Morrisons.
InPost, which now boasts more than 1 million self-service locker boxes across the globe, has lockers installed at Lidl, Holland & Barrett and JD Sports.