Going Underground -Tesco and Waitrose follow Asda in Tube Venture

Posted on 3 February, 2014 by Kirsten Kennedy

The rise of click and collect shopping has revolutionised the retail industry, with a growing number of grocery retailers in particular seeking new ways to aid their customers in juggling the weekly shop around their busy lifestyles. Recently, Asda trialled an initiative which saw consumers able to order their shopping online and collect their purchases from selected London Underground stations – a trial which proved so popular that not only Asda but Tesco and Waitrose have decided to implement the service into their business operations.


Tesco will launch its click and collect tube station operations throughout the coming month, having earmarked Osterly, Newbury Park, Cockfosters, Finchley Central, Arnos Grove and Rayners Lane as the first locations in what will presumably be a wide ranging scheme in the long term. After Tesco and Transport for London (TfL) have installed the necessary facilities at the selected stations, Tesco customers will be able to place their orders and pay before midday using a smartphone, tablet or computer and pick up their items from the nearest location to them during their commute home at the end of the day.

Managing director for Tesco’s London operations, Andrew Yaxley, believes the extension of the scheme will greatly benefit Tesco’s customers.

He says; “The additional TfL pick up locations will give even greater flexibility to our customers because they will have more options to collect their shopping at a time and location that’s most convenient to them.”

Waitrose, meanwhile, is taking a little longer to implement the scheme and will be examining the opportunities afforded by potential stations on an individual basis over the coming months before releasing their plans later in the year. However, the upmarket supermarket chain has confirmed that it will be following Asda’s example by installing collection lockers in the car parks of the stations it chooses.

Director of e-commerce at Waitrose, Robin Phillips, believes this scheme will be particularly useful for Waitrose as it will allow penetration of markets in which the chain does not operate convenience stores or large scale supermarkets. As Waitrose has yet to catch up with larger rivals in terms of its commercial property portfolio, the new system will bring Waitrose to customers who live some distance from their nearest store and therefore be more cost effective than store openings in the short term.

TfL is yet to reveal the value of the new deals with Tesco and Waitrose, as well as the money made from the existing partnership with Asda, but has confirmed that all revenues resulting from the services will be reinvested into the tube network. Hopefully, this will mean that commuters will be able to look forward to an improved level of efficiency as well as the chance to streamline the weekly shop – all in all, a great deal from a relatively simple initiative.

Would you choose to use the click and collect service if it became available in your area and, if so, do you believe a similar initiative could be rolled out nationwide using train and bus stations?

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