John Lewis will introduce a standard £2 charge for click and collect orders under £30, as the current free service is “unsustainable”.
From the end of July, longstanding customers of the British department store chain will no longer be able to buy a pack of batteries or buttons and have them delivered to their nearest John Lewis, Waitrose or select Collect Plus outlet for free. The expenditure and logistics of despatching regular low-value orders have become too much for the nation’s favourite retailer.
Andy Street, Managing Director said: “We are sure customers will understand why we are doing this. There is a huge logistical operation behind this system and quite frankly it’s unsustainable. We consider ourselves to be leaders and we want to take the lead on this.”
When John Lewis’s sister company, upmarket grocer Waitrose, retracted its free coffee offering for anyone who signed up for a myWaitrose card, there was a middle-class backlash. A similar uproar about the new prices is expected.
Mark Lewis, John Lewis’s Online Director, added: “John Lewis is committed to being a leading omni-channel retailer and understands the importance of providing its customers with choice, convenience and above all else a long-term commitment to customer service.”
Lewis cited that the delivery option of choice for customer was its next-day click and collect, but “the change we have announced today will mean that the majority of orders will remain free of charge while allowing us to invest further in the expansion of click and collect to ensure it continues to delight customers as it grows in popularity”.
Currently John Lewis processes more than 6m annual click and collect orders a year, this is in comparison to the 350,000 in its first year.