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House of Fraser plans in-store collection for e-commerce users

26 September 2011 - 10:15 by Simon Crisp

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House of Fraser is trialling a new service which will allow those who buy products online to collect them at their local store in the UK.

At first just two department stores, one in Aberdeen and another in Liverpool, will be taking part in the 'click and collect' initiative. However, House of Fraser will be hoping to roll this out across the country to make buying clothes online quicker and easier.

Perhaps most important is the fact that customers will not only be able to pick up items from the shop but also try them on at changing rooms adjacent to the collection points.

If something does not fit they will be able to get a refund or change it for something in a different size, so there will be none of the lengthy waiting while packages are returned and funds transferred back and forth, as it will all be instant.

Multichannel retailers are trying to combine the variety and convenience of safe shopping online with the immediacy of high street pickups and this seems to be working very well in many cases.

Amazon recently announced its own initiative to deliver goods to lockers located in shopping centres rather than to customers' homes, so that there is no need to wait in for delivery men. Argos and other high street chains are also making the click and collect revolution work its way across the country.

House of Fraser has no current high street presence in either Liverpool or Aberdeen which explains their integration into this trial. The company says that it should make £100 million from web-based sales in 2011 and hopes to see this increase over the coming years, particularly if shoppers are given different ways to collect their items.