The future’s in your local drive thru’…

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I shop; a lot. In fact I so like shopping that I also shop at work on the net. It’s marvellous. I can buy what the heck I like but the big problem is that I have to be at home when it is delivered. Actually that’s not so bad as I do a lot of work from home but for those that don’t there can be serious consequences.

It’s no good coming home to melted ice cream on your front doorstep; that’s of course if your shopping will actually still be there when you return and not half way down the street in someone else’s fridge.

Now Lambert Smith Hampton’s latest retail guru, Sean Prigmore has come up with an interesting solution to all my woes in the most recent Lambert Smith Hampton Viewpoint ‘Click & Collect: the e-tailing revolution’.

He suggests that soon I may be able to collect my goods as I would a McDonald’s by going to a drive thru

“A number of the major supermarket groups now have Click and collect facilities at their stores,” he says, “Initially these were ‘low tech’ where by the customer pulled up in a designated parking area and an employee would rush off and get their pre packed order and take it to the car.

“Tesco have recently reported that they intend to build bespoke Click and collect pods within the car parks of their stores similar to a fast food drive thru.

“The Click and collect concept for groceries is advancing further than this. Some of the supermarket groups are investigating the viability of free standing click and collect outlets remote from the food store whereby goods are ordered online and delivered to this remote facility which will house climate controlled grocery lockers. The customer is sent an email confirming the drop off has been made along with a collection code. The customer is then free to pick the goods up when convenient at which point the locker sends a message back to the retailer confirming the goods have been collected.

“Undoubtedly, the Click and collect model will evolve further. Potentially, we could see click and collect pods on main arterial roads out of major commercial centres where consumers pick up their pre ordered goods on the way home saving valuable minutes. We might see Click and collect pods being run by a third party distributor housing lockers for all the main supermarket groups as well as non-food e-tailers such as Amazon, ASOS etc.”

This could be a brilliant way of recycling those tired old empty distribution warehouse sites in the suburbs which are too small for modern day logistics and too close to homes to be tolerated as present day logistics or even parcel hubs.

It won’t be half as much fun as playing the waiting game with the delivery man whereby he delivers when you’ve just popped out for ten minutes but it will be far more convenient for all concerned.

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Liza Helps
Contributing Editor, Property

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