Asda Launches UK's First 'Parcel Tower'
Uk retailer Asda has launched the UK’s first ‘Parcel Tower’ which dispenses online orders in under a minute and accepts returns.
The 16 foot tall and 8 foot wide automated machine has been installed at Asda’s Trafford Park store, Greater Manchester.
The tower allows customers to pick up and return their online orders in less than 60 seconds. It holds up to 500 parcels and has served 1,500 customers since it was set up last week, according to Asda.
Customers can select the parcel tower during their online order checkout, so they receive a barcode on their smartphone. The tower can then scan the code and and give them their order, according to the retailer.
This move follows a successful trial by Asda's parent company Walmart in the US, where over 100 such towers have already been installed.
Customers can collect orders made through several different websites, including Asda’s George.com, as well as selected third parties such as Asos, Missguided and Decathlon from the retailer’s ‘toyou’ delivery service, according to Asda.
The retailer launched its ‘toyou’ service in November 2015. It provides an end-to-end parcel solution, which uses minute-by-minute tracking and allows customers to return or collect purchases from third party online retailers at over 600 of its stores, Asda said.
Parcels can also be collected and returned from Asda petrol forecourts and Click & Collect points across the country, according to the retailer.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to work with our parent company Walmart in the US to bring this new exciting technology to the UK, so far it’s been a huge success for them,” said Neil Drake, Asda’s toyou, retail process, systems and innovation manager. “We know speed and convenience are important factors to customers and partners of our toyou service, and we’re always looking for new ways to bring that to them. The Parcel Towers are the latest example of how we’re using new technology to save our customers time and money.”
“We’re delighted to be the first store in the UK to trial the Parcel Tower for our customers,” said Stephen Clinton, store manager at Asda Trafford Park. “We have seen a fantastic response to the quick service in the past few days and we hope it continues.”
Ahead of the past Christmas season, parent company Walmart expanded its in-store pickup service, making more items available for same-day collection. The US market has seen a substantial growth of at least 40% in online sales over the first three quarters of 2017.
Asda began experimenting with convenient collection points back in 2015 when it opened the UK's first 24/7 click-and-collect point, which stored ordered goods in a temperature-controlled unit and allowed customers to pick them up around the clock.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.