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Analyst argues against click and collect being high street saviour

09 April 2013 - 11:47 by Graham Miller

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Although the high street has been beleaguered by falling sales and major closures over the past few years, many retailers had hoped that the way to stay afloat was to take a multichannel approach.

For most, this meant combining safe shopping online with in-store pickups, or the click & collect model, as it is often called.

However, Verdict Retail analyst, Patrick O'Brien, has spoken out about click and collect culture and argued that to expect it to save the high street from extinction, is unrealistic.

While being able to order something via safe shopping online and then collect it locally is convenient for consumers, O'Brien believes that convenience stores will be the biggest beneficiaries, not larger high street outlets.

The growing number of services which allow items to be purchased online and then delivered to one of a network of small stores, based in various neighbourhoods, means that people who buy through the web can then stroll to their corner shop to collect an item, rather than having to hop in a car and drive to the town centre for collection.

It all comes down to what is most convenient for consumers, according to O'Brien. Buying online is obviously easy, but having to hang around the house waiting for a delivery or needing to visit your nearest retail outlet once it has been dispatched, are not ideal.

On the other hand, being able to collect a package from the same shop that you buy milk and bread from in the morning or evening is the most convenient solution for many consumers.

While the high street may not become extinct as a result of e-commerce's encroachment, retailers clearly need to be smart about their use of available multi-channel resources going forwards.