Supermarkets are announcing new and exciting methods to improve convenience for consumers in an attempt to get ahead of the increasingly intense competition they face. Whilst Asda has announced new plans for a “click and collect” service in the South East, Land Securities is trialling a new collection service with Ocado at their Galleria outlet centre in Hatfield, north of London.
Asda, which has managed to so far survive and grow during the ongoing price wars in which British supermarkets are currently embroiled, will introduce “intelligent pods” to try and increase its stores in and around London. Asda was the only one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets to see an increase in like-for-like sales in the last quarter, but has announced 1,360 job cuts as it restructures to focus on its online offerings. It expects its e-commerce operations to grow from 10 per cent to 30 per cent in five years.
The temperature-controlled stand-alone units will allow shoppers to collect their shopping in less than a minute from strategically positioned locations. Chief executive Andy Clarke said: “Our existing grocery Home Shopping offer is already growing at more than 20 per cent year-on-year and this exciting new click and collect technology will allow us to bring Asda value to even more customers… Ultimately, we want to give more people access to the price, quality and style that we are famous for”. The company also has plans to revamp its existing stores and will open three Asda Home Shopping Centres.
Likewise, Land Securities’ 6-month trial of a collection service will give shoppers another channel of ultra convenience by which to do their shopping, providing an especially designated parking area where customers can go to have their food shopping loaded into the boot of their car for them. Land Securities will be hoping to increase its popularity further, providing its customers with all its retail needs.
The Galleria in Hatfield has been owned by Land Securities since its opening in 1991, superbly located with 7.3 million shoppers within an hour’s drive of the centre. The Galleria houses over 80 retailers, including French Connection, Marks & Spencer, HMV and TK Maxx. The Galleria’s excellent transport connections, near to the M25 and the A1(M), makes it the perfect place for Ocado to introduce its car-based ‘pit stop’ format.
Scott Parsons, Managing Director of Retail at Land Securities, commented, “This new trial with Ocado demonstrates Land Securities’ dedication to evolving our assets to meet continually changing consumer demands. The Galleria provides the perfect location to trial the initiative as it has a high-spending customer base, located in the midst of one of the busiest transport networks in the region.”