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21 January 2015

Now DPD says it will open a parcel shop network


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Dwain McDonald, DPD's CEO (right) with Peter Odemwingie

DPD is the latest UK carrier to plan a high-street drop-off and pickup network as an alternative to home delivery – following in the footsteps of Royal Mail (with its Post Office option) and Hermes.

It will be called DPD PickUp, and the company says it will be launched in June 2015. Like other existing collection networks, it will operate through the premises of businesses with an existing high-street presence. The first to be announced is the Numark Pharmacists chain, and other partners are said to be waiting in the wings.

Where a retailer buys into the concept, DPD says that shoppers will be able to select a DPD PickUp delivery at the point of purchase. Shoppers will also be able to divert a planned home delivery to a PickUp location. DPD calls this an “in-flight” option.

The network will also be available to handle returns. Back in 2013 DPD revealed that it was working with rival Hermes to provide a returns service through Hemes’ ParcelShops network, but it appears that in future DPD may be able to handle returns through its own resources.

DPD’s UK chief executive, Dwain McDonald, says the aim with the new offer is to create “a collect and return service with a difference”, explaining that the difference will extend from the extensive range of communication features to the quality of the shop environment that customers will experience.

Certainly a pharmaceutical chain seems likely to offer a more up-market ambience than the convenience stores used by some of the other click and collect operators. It remains to be seen whether DPD will be able to maintain that standard as its network grows.

The company says it will eventually have around 2,500 outlets. These will be unique, it says, implying that they will not be shared with other collection services.

Underlining its commitment to the embryonic operation, DPD has opened a dedicated office for it in Stoke on Trent, where it will have a substantial initial staff of 22. McDonald opened the premises in January in the company of Peter Odemwingie of Stoke City.

 

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