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Primark has announced that it will trial click & collect for about 2,000 children’s products across 25 stores in the North-West of the UK.
The retail brand, which in the past has steadfastly avoided offering online services, will launch the trial later this year which will include a number of products exclusively for click & collect services.
“The click & collect trial is a milestone for our business and builds on the investments we have made over the last two years in new technology and people to make this possible,” said Paul Marchant, CEO of Primark. “This trial will give customers so much more of what they love and a new way to shop with us.
“It brings together more choice and greater convenience and complements the great in-store experience that is at the heart of our business. We think it will also give us an opportunity to reach new customers by highlighting the fantastic collection that we have for kids of all ages. We’ve chosen to trial the new service in a region where we have a wide range of stores of different sizes and formats and we can’t wait to see the customer response.”
As Covid-19 lockdowns forced many people to stay at home, more and more customers adopted online shopping – which saw retailers increasingly adopt digital to adapt to a shift in consumer behaviour that many believe will continue long after the pandemic.
But Primark has always been against venturing into the world of online shopping, which saw it hit heavily by the pandemic.
However, that does not mean Primark has swerved the use of digital altogether. According to Laurent Homeyer, retail and hospitality industry adviser in EMEA & APJ at Workday, Primark was using data analytics from Workday to understand employee skillsets and introduce upskilling initiatives for furloughed staff during lockdown.
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Primark also launched a new website in April 2022, claiming that it would “help the customer journey between searching online and then shopping in store”. The site still does not allow online orders, but allows customers to check the availability of products they like in their chosen size in stores around the UK.
Merchant said the new website represented a “shift in the role of digital at Primark”, but although new features such as a customer login and wishlist will be introduced in the future, there was no mention of the ability to buy products directly online.
The click & collect trial, which will be launched at the tail end of 2022, will include products aimed at children, such as clothes, accessories, homeware and toys.
In the trial, customers in the North West who live near smaller stores with more limited stock will have access to a wider range of products through the click & collect service.
Customers will pay in advance online, then collect their items from new click & collect desks at participating stores. Orders will be fulfilled from Primark’s new distribution centre in Leicestershire by the retailer’s logistics partner, Clipper.