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Bill Grimsey: click and collect 'will not last five years'

Click and collect, the e-commerce service which allows consumers to buy products online and collect them in-store, will not survive the next five years, a leading retail expert has said.

Speaking at a Primesight and MediaTel breakfast event on Thursday - which saw a panel discuss the future of retail - author and high street consultant, Bill Grimsey, said that click and collect services will shortly be replaced by 'home depositories', whereby parcels and groceries will be delivered to domestic properties whilst the owners are out.

"What will eventually happen is there will be home depositories where you can open them remotely so that God-awful note you get saying 'sorry you weren't at home, drive 25 miles to an industrial estate at 8pm to collect your package' will be a distant memory," said Grimsey.

"Eventually we will have a home depository that will be like a wheelie bin. Parcels will be able to be dropped off securely without anybody there."

Grimsey, a former CEO of Wickes, Iceland and Focus, said the concept is part of a power shift towards the consumer as they become, post-recession, savvier, online shoppers.

"I have witnessed the power of balance change from brands and manufacturers who ruled the roost in the 50s, 60s and 70s. In advertising they drove everything, did the research, got the information; but that all changed with the advent of the barcode, which ultimately gave the power to the retailer.

"Now the consumer has the power; they can be a good buyer, can do research online, can have home depositories."

OMD's Future of Britain project, which charts the recession's impact on consumer behaviours and attitudes, last year revealed that people have completely changed the way in which they shop - with over half of the people OMD spoke to saying they shop around more for the best prices and would continue to do so, even when their finances improve.

The concept behind click and collect is already moving from buying online and collecting in-store to retailers meeting people half way, with brands such as Waitrose and Asda providing online grocery collection points for commuters returning home, with appropriate advertising around London tube and underground stations to inspire shoppers on the way in.

Similarly, lockers where commuters can collect packages ordered online from retailers such as Amazon are being rolled out in the capital.

Mark Henson, head of business development at outdoor media specialist Primesight, said that the concept of home depositories carries weight and would meet the needs of many consumers.

"With more women now in the workplace and people often left with less time, home depositories are definitely the future."

Source : Ellen Hammett -

13 June 2014
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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