20,000 SMEs which Royal Mail has contracts with will now be able to offer their customers the option of collecting from one of 10,500 Post Office branches.
Although home delivery remains the most popular option for customers, use of click and collect and similar services like parcel lockers has been on the rise in recent years, partly because of the inconvenience of having parcels delivered to homes during the work day.
70m deliveries were made via click and collect and third party collection points in 2013, a figure expected to rise to 82m this year.
The move by Royal Mail is part of an ongoing attempt to boost the strength of its parcel business, amid competition from specialist courier firms. Post Office branches are also to be kept open longer on sundays and the company is also trialling Sunday parcel deliveries within the M25.
Nick Landon, MD of Royal Mail parcels, said: “By teaming up with Post Office to offer the UK’s largest click and collect service, Royal Mail is enabling shoppers to have greater control over the delivery of their items.
“Home shoppers already trust us more than any other national parcels carrier to deliver their online orders. Royal Mail is developing services and investing in IT solutions to meet the changing demands of online retailers and their customers.”
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