Blakemore Wholesale launches 'click & collect'

Date : 19 August 2013

Blakemore Wholesale has become the latest UK cash & carry wholesaler to launch a 'click & collect' service, offering its customers the opportunity to place orders online, have them picked, and collect them from seven of the company's 13 depots across the Midlands, Wales and the North.

Service offers two-hour fulfilment lead time

Blakemore Wholesale has operated an online ordering service for some time, though access has primarily been limited to members of its Lifestyle Express retail club/symbol group. To date these customers have been serviced by delivery, now the introduction of 'click & collect' will help drive take-up of online ordering in the wider customer base. Offering a two hour lead time for collection will enable cash & carry customers to continue purchasing at short notice, maintaining the key top-up role of the format.

Online customers favour delivery

Within the wider sector, online ordering has been primarily associated with the expansion of delivery services. Despite offering 'click & collect' nationwide, delivery accounts for 60% Bestway's online sales. However, delivery represents significant extra cost to wholesalers, and a 'click & collect' service is a cheaper alternative, enabling cash & carry players to maintain a cost (and hence price) advantage over their delivered competitors.

Driving 'click & collect' critical to online in cash & carry

To ensure take-up of 'click & collect' services cash & carry wholesalers need to provide specific advantages over delivered, such as clear differential pricing, as well as better lead times.  Currently, the best model for this comes perhaps from delivered foodservice wholesaler JJ Foodservice, which has created a tier of cheaper pricing for customers ordering online and collecting, to ensure 'click & collect' offers an appreciable benefit versus delivery.

Online on the agenda at Wholesaling 2013 ...

Sam Wilcox, managing director, Blakemore Wholesale will join a wide range of other sector leaders at IGD's Wholesaling 2013 conference, 12 September in London.  Don't miss the the opportunity to catch up with developments from across the sector, including the evolution of online.  Click here for more details: