Customers of John Lewis will now be able to collect their online orders from five Co-op stores across London, Manchester and Nottingham, in a trial that both partners hope to roll out nationwide.
The deal isn’t the first of its kind for John Lewis. As well as collecting their online John Lewis orders from all Waitrose stores, their customers have, for the last few months, also been able to collect their online shopping from eight stores across the upmarket Northern supermarket chain – Booths.
What makes this an interesting departure for John Lewis is that whilst Booths is often referred to as the ‘Waitrose of the North’, and is a relatively obvious partner, Co-op isn’t an immediate ‘natural fit’.
It’s a partnership that shows that customer convenience is now trumping brand fit as the driving force behind ecommerce fulfilment collaborations, with Co-op’s innovation director, Mark Pettigrew summing it up: ‘It is all about creating ease, convenience and choice for today’s time pressed customer.’
It’s a collaboration we expect will reap dividends for both partners. However, the proliferation of these fragmented click & collect partnerships begs one important question for us. Just how convenient is a fulfilment market in which the customer has to visit multiple supermarkets to collect their shopping from different retailers?