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John Lewis to herald the introduction of click-and-collect fees?

5th Jul 2015
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John Lewis expects to lead the way in charging customers for picking up low-cost internet orders in its stores as it overhauls a sales model that boss Andy Street described as “unsustainable”.

The department store group will impose a fee of £2 on click-and-collect orders under £30 from the end of this month, although orders above that threshold will remain free-of-charge. The charge will also apply to orders collected from its Waitrose supermarket chain too.

While the move is controversial, Street said at John Lewis’ Christmas in July event on Wednesday night in London that he was “confident” customers would understand the decision and that other retailers may follow suit.

“We want to take a leadership position. This market has got to be sustainable. It’s illogical this can be produced at no cost. We think our customers will understand this is reasonable,” he told Retail Week.

The issue was that the organisation could not “give everything away for free. There is a huge logistical operation behind this system and, quite frankly, it’s unsustainable”, Street added.

Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and Next have all said they have no plans to follow suit, but Sports Direct already charges £4.99 for click-and-collect orders, although customers also receive a £5 voucher to spend in store.

Street played down the possibility of a customer backlash against the charge. “We do feel the time has come to take a clear position in the market. We think that our customers will understand that this is utterly reasonable for these low cost items,” he said.

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