Argos has become the first retailer to offer same-day store collection and same-day home delivery, for nearly 20,000 products across the UK.
The new service is called Fast Track and, said Argos, customers can see Fast Track items clearly online, purchase them, and choose to either collect them from a local store or schedule a same-day or next-day delivery slot.
Customers choosing Fast Track Collection can collect their products from 800 Argos store locations nationwide, at specially marked Fast Track Collection counters. The chain claimed that its staff will have the products in customers’ hands within 60 seconds. The Fast Track Collection service is also free.
Customers choosing Fast Track Delivery can select from four convenient home-delivery slots: 7am-10am, 10am-1pm, 2pm-6pm and 7pm-10pm, seven days a week, including Sundays.
Customers can order by 6pm to have an item delivered by 10pm the same day, or schedule a convenient time on the next day or future days. The delivery fee is £3.95.
Fast Track Delivery drivers are Argos employees, specially hired and trained and working in local stores around the country.
Argos has created new jobs for 3,300 drivers, who will operate the 800 liveried Argos vans in streets up and down the UK this Christmas season. Up to 1,000 drivers are currently being recruited for the busy upcoming Christmas season.
Argos said that Fast Track Collection and Fast Track Delivery are possible because of behind-the-scenes improvements it has been making during the past two years to its stocking, distribution and digital systems, such as the ‘hub and spoke’ stocking model it deployed in stores last year.
Said John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group (parent company of Argos): “As more customers shop from online and mobile shopping channels, they are increasingly sensitive to the speed and cost of obtaining their products.
“Argos has always been known for convenience, and is uniquely positioned with its national network of stores and distribution centres to provide customers with the best options to fulfil their digital orders. We are pleased to introduce Fast Track Collection and Fast Track Delivery, which represent the fastest, cheapest and most convenient ways for customers to purchase their goods online. We hope Fast Track will help UK consumers this Christmas and make their seasonal shopping speedier and easier than ever before.”
Commenting on the move, Bryan Roberts, senior vice-president and knowledge officer for EMEA at analyst Kantar Retail, said: “Delivery has emerged as one of the key battlegrounds for UK retailers, as customers increasingly look for multiple delivery slots that allow them to shop how and when they want on the same day.
“In terms of customers being able to order online as late as 6pm and receive products on their doorstep that evening, Argos is showing its rivals a clean pair of heels with this new speedy nationwide service. While having the right offer at the right price will be as crucial as ever this Christmas, there will also be a sprint finish on the nation’s roads to deliver the goods the same or next day.”