Industry

Argos and eBay offer nationwide parcel network

eBay and Argos announced this week an extension to the trial they’ve been running since 2013, which lets eBay sellers use the Argos delivery and collection network.

The partnership now covers collection and drop-off at Argos stores nationwide, and delivery within 48 hours.

Through the trial, more than 3m parcels have been collected by eBay customers from around 800 Argos stores across the UK, sold on behalf of 200,000 eBayers.

eBay sellers hand over their parcels to their local Argos store, where they purchase the appropriate postage label. Items must be securely wrapped, measure no more than 70cm along any single edge, and weigh no more than 20kg.

Small packages (up to 2kg, with no single dimension exceeding 30cm) cost £3.80 to send, with two other pricing tiers, determined by size and weight: medium – £6.23 (5kg, 45cm), and large – £8.22 (20kg, 70cm).

This is the first time eBay has been able to offer its customers a national parcel drop-off service, with 150 stores coming on stream by the end of this year, and the rest to follow in 2016. The drop-off and delivery service was successfully piloted earlier this year in 10 Argos stores across four towns, and is both cheaper and more convenient than comparable services.

“We know our customers expect ever more convenience, choice and value and our ambition with this deal is to grow and establish some of the most exciting and innovative fulfilment services in the UK,” said eBay UK vice president Tanya Lawler. “The eBay and Argos partnership further dissolves the lines between digital and traditional retail.”

Argos and eBay have also extended their click-and-collect programme, an exclusive partnership which also began as a pilot in 2013. Since then, the parties have helped customers collect more than three million parcels, from around 800 UK and Northern Ireland Argos stores, sold on behalf of 200,000 businesses selling on eBay.

David Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, Argos, said: “Argos invented click and collect in the UK, and recently added to its record of innovation by introducing FastTrack Collection and FastTrack Delivery – market leading fulfilment services for the online shopper.  The ability for customers to get their purchases quickly, easily and locally has become the new retail battleground.  With over 800 stores and a friendly face on every high street, we are ideally placed to attract eBay’s business and consumer customers to use our unique store network.  This deal reaffirms and builds on the successful and deepening relationship between our businesses.”

Argos has recently unveiled the nationwide roll-out of its same-day Fast Track delivery, and super-fast collection services. At last week’s eDelivery Conference, Argos Stores central operations director, Andy Brown explained how – and why – the retailer has done this, and how it’s making this move work. You can read a full interview with him here.