Retailers fight back against online rivals as 'click and collect' sales soar 47 per cent

Mail Online | 2/25/2019 | Reuters;Andrew Snell For
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'Click and collect' is giving bricks-and-mortar retailers an edge in the battle for sales against online rivals.

Costly real estate has been partly blamed for the struggles of traditional retailers, with stores like Sears and Toys 'R' Us already hit hard.

Holiday - Season - Sales - Customers - Order

But in the last holiday season, sales where customers order goods online and pick them up at a nearby store soared 47 per cent compared with a year earlier.

This outstripping 16.5 per cent growth in online sales in November and December, according to Adobe Analytics.

Increases - Sales - Chains - Best - Buy

Among those reporting big increases in such sales were chains such Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Home Depot.

The statistics suggest that physical stores offer retailers a rare advantage during the shopping season against e-commerce giant Amazon and other online retailers.

Experts - Delays - Holiday - Season - Weather

Retail experts said delays during the 2017 holiday season caused by bad weather, and a late surge in online orders overwhelming shipping firms, is likely to have contributed to the surge in store pickups last season.

And even though UPS and FedEx largely avoided a repeat of such problems in 2018, analysts say store pickups offer important benefits for both consumers and retailers.

Research - Firm - GlobalData - Retail - Store

According to retail research and consulting firm GlobalData Retail, store pickups accounted for nearly a third of U.S. online sales last November and December.

That compares with about 22 per cent a year earlier and just over 17 per cent during the 2016 holiday season.

Jeff - Sylvester - Customer - Experience - Researchers

Jeff Sylvester, of customer experience researchers Foresee, said the method 'brings together the benefits of the digital shopping experience...with the instant gratification of same-day store pickup and easy returns'.

It means that shoppers avoid shipping costs and the agony of waiting for the delivery, and can also get help from store staff if any issues come up.

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