Retail giant Argos is to offer a same-day home delivery service stretching to Sundays in a first for the United Kingdom high street.
The move is also well timed to capitalise on Black Friday on November 27, which is becoming increasingly important for retailers here in the UK. Argos was also the first to launch click & collect 15 years ago and it already had a nationwide home delivery service in 1999.
Argos offers around 50,000 products through its mobile channels, stores and over the telephone. Fast Track Collection is now available in 800 stores, letting customers pay for their items ahead of time and pick it up within a couple of minutes (skipping the queue in the process). Customers can order by 6pm to get an item delivered by 10pm the same day, while orders placed before midnight will be delivered between 7am-10am, or 10am-1pm the following day.
Bryan Roberts, senior vice president at analysts Kantar, said: “Delivery has emerged as one of the key battlegrounds for United Kingdom retailers, as customers increasingly look for multiple delivery slots that allow them to shop how and when they want on the same day”. Online customers will be able to see clearly which products can be “Fast Track-ed”, before collecting their items at dedicated Fast Track Collection counters for those who have pre-paid. We are pleased to introduce Fast Track Collection and Fast Track Delivery, which represents the fastest, cheapest and most convenient way for customers to purchase their goods online.
Walden would not disclose how much Argos had invested in re-engineering its national “hub and spoke” model of 170 larger stores and distribution centres that are central to improving the quality and speed of delivery, but said: “We can do this because we are a different type of retailer”. The reactions of customers were very positive, so Argos now made a decision to roll out Fast Track nationwide.
John Walden, the chief executive of Argos’s owner, Home Retail Group, said the service, which has been trialled in southern England, had created 3,300 new delivery jobs, including 1,000 to be recruited for over the Christmas period.
‘But we believe Fast Track is the next big innovation and brings shopping into the digital age, allowing customers to get up to 20,000 products in their hands faster than ever before.