At one Asda store in Manchester, a new way of shoppers collecting their ecommerce parcels has launched. It’s dubbed as the Parcel Tower and is basically a parcel vending machine.
They’re basically a system of parcel lockers but on a grander scale. If you want to collect your purchase, you provide a barcode and, very much like a vending machine, the automated facility goes off to find your parcel and brings it to you within a minute. Walmart in the US owns Asda and the machines have been in place there for some years. And it looks like they’re going to be successful here in the UK too.
Neil Drake, Asda’s toyou – Retail Process, Systems and Innovation Manager, said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to work with our parent company Walmart in the US to bring this new exciting technology to the UK, so far it’s been a huge success for them. We know speed and convenience are important factors to customers and partners of our toyou service, and we’re always looking for new ways to bring that to them. The Parcel Towers are the latest example of how we’re using new technology to save our customers time and money.”
Stephen Clinton is manager at the Asda Trafford Park store and says: “We’re delighted to be the first store in the UK to trial the Parcel Tower for our customers. We have seen a fantastic response to the quick service in the past few days and we hope it continues.” The parcel tower was installed in store at the end of last week as a proof of concept and has already served 1500 local customers already at time of writing.
Automated collection is clearly one of the ways that ecommerce is going. Various locker systems have merit but these more sophisticated utilities take the idea to a whole new level. Such technology is expensive to make and maintain, and plenty of people will be worried that it will cost jobs, but really (we suspect) there are not so many sites that will justify a unit like this on such a scale.
Have you used the parcel tower in Trafford? Let us know how it was.