Leading home delivery specialist Hermes, has launched 500 myHermes ParcelShops across the UK in a move designed to enable its retail clients to offer their customers the most flexible and convenient delivery solution on the market. Retailers will initially be able to offer the myHermes ParcelShops as a cost-effective means of returning unwanted online purchases, with plans to extend the service to allow consumers to specify their nearest location as an alternative to home delivery.
The branded myHermes ParcelShops are located in local convenience stores such as Spa, Nisa, Premier and Co-op as well as local independents, in major urban locations that have been specially selected based on population density and home delivery demand. The initial network of parcel shops is expected to be increased by a further 500 locations by the end of the year to extend the nationwide reach of the service.
Each store offers extended opening hours, typically 8 until 8, and in the first phase will be providing a drop off service for people who want to return goods they have purchased online. This will help retailers to address the difficult area of returns providing a quicker, simpler and more efficient option to their customers and giving them an alternative to the current courier collection option.
According to independent research carried out by Hermes last year the returns process remains a continuing issue for online shoppers. The research showed that 16 per cent of people return at least one item per order and, while more than 50 per cent use the Post Office to return goods, they find it inconvenient and slow.
The launch follows discussions with key retail customers and consumer focus groups and builds on the highly successful Parcel Shop model operated by Hermes in Germany, Austria and Russia. Leading mail order specialists Redcats is one of the first to sign up for the new service.
Carole Woodhead, Chief Executive at Hermes UK: “This launch now confirms our position as one of the UK’s leading multi-channel service providers with an unrivalled offering and product portfolio. Over the last year we have successfully introduced a number of key enhancements to our service in response to changing retail requirements, all of which are designed to give our retail customers a competitive edge.”
The introduction of myHermes ParcelShops is also good news for niche online retailers and anyone who wants to send a parcel. It can be used in conjunction with the current myhermes.co.uk service which offers an affordable delivery solution that can be quickly ordered online with items collected direct from the door or as a standalone service.
Both options eliminate the need to queue at the post office but by opting to take items to a myHermes ParcelShop, rather than have a courier collect them, parcels are delivered on a 2-day service (rather than 3-5 day), making it a comparable service with Royal Mail (2nd class) but cheaper (over 1kg) and fully tracked, for no extra cost.
Jonathan Bennett, Head of Marcoms for myhermes.co.uk, said: “This is now a highly flexible and convenient service for consumers and small businesses such as eBay Powersellers, Amazon Marketplace sellers and other niche retailers, who can choose to take their parcels to the ParcelShop early or late and have a shorter delivery timescale or enjoy the convenience of a collection from a local courier.”