Amazon has launched a same-day collection service through a collaboration with Smiths News, the newspaper and magazine distributor.
Customers will be able to order products up to 11.45 am, and collect them from 4pm. They will get an email telling them when their order is available, and they can pick up their package up to 11.59pm – depending on the store closing time.
The service, which is available at more than 500 newsagents and convenience stores, will be free to Amazon Prime members for a limited time. Customers who aren’t members of Amazon Prime can opt for same-day collection or express morning collection for £4.99 for a limited time.
Christopher North, managing director of Amazon.co.uk, said: “We know that Prime customers love fast delivery and the convenience to pick up their order at a time and place that suits them best. This new service brings together both of those great benefits.”
Shops offering the service will carry “Pass my Parcel” branding.
As well as the same-day collection, customers also have the option of Express Morning collection with orders placed up to 7.45pm being available for guaranteed collection the next morning – their parcel will be delivered from 6.30am and no later than 9am depending on the store opening time.
Smiths News has been working on finding additional uses for it delivery fleet, which is mainly used for newspaper deliveries during the night. The group has set itself a target of getting 50 per cent of its underlying profit from activities outside newspaper and magazine wholesaling.
It said that Pass My Parcel would offer two time sensitive deliveries per day, (single wave on a Sundays). “Pass My Parcel goes live with Amazon as its launch client and, during Autumn 2014, will have up to 1,000 parcel shops, in the Pass My Parcel network, serviced from 12 Smiths News distribution centres.”
Jonathan Bunting, managing director of Connect News & Media, parent of Smiths News, said: “We are delighted with the progress we have made on our diversification strategy over the last 12 months. We have worked closely with Amazon to create Pass My Parcel, and we are excited about the future potential of this business.”
“We believe that Pass My Parcel will also help our retail customers grow their own business by offering an important new service to the communities they serve.”
Amazon now has more than 6,000 pick-up locations including “Pass my Parcel” stores, Collect+ stores and Amazon Lockers. It said that deliveries made to Amazon Lockers nationally have more than doubled in the last year.
“Our intention is to keep rapidly adding to the many thousands of existing pick-up locations to ensure that customers all over the UK are provided with as much choice as possible when it comes to the delivery of their Amazon order,” said North.