To Click and Collect: The Changing Face of Retail

The way we shop is changing. We no longer spend our Saturdays pounding the pavements of the high street. Instead, we spend our evenings scanning our smartphones and ordering online.

The figures bear this out; in June, House of Fraser announced the closure of 31 stores, while high street stalwart Marks and Spencer plans to shut more than 100 branches by 2022.

In contrast, online sales, particularly of clothing, are booming: the sector grew by 17% in 2017 with sales at an impressive £16.2 billion.

And the change in our shopping habits has led to a logistical challenge – where to store all this stock? It has been forecast by property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton that, by the year 2020, the UK will be short of approximately 25 million square feet of warehouse space.

And the issue isn’t simply space – with online-only retailers such as Amazon and ASOS offering ever-more competitive delivery times, they need more storage in more locations – and what’s the easiest and safest way to create extra space?

Our storage containers for hire are secure, weather-proof and come in sizes from 10ft to 40ft, meaning they’re a convenient way to store stock ready for delivery.

This rise in online shopping has led to the birth of another phenomenon – click and collect. Increasingly, customers want the convenience of making a purchase online and collecting in their own time, with figures showing that such sales are set to rise by 55 per cent by 2022.

But where can retailers store items that are waiting for collection?

Mobile Mini Business Development Manager, Anthony Leonard explains: “Some older stores may not have an area to use for click and collect as they don’t want to lose floor space, but they want to provide the service as customers find it quick and easy to reserve on line and then quickly pick up.

“Convenience for the consumer is key, but the rise of click and collect has benefits for retailers too.

“Retailers can pop a container in their car park, without having to make expensive modifications to the store layout, or shop floor spaces. Car parks are rarely completely full, so it’s usually easy to squeeze a container in.

“For consumers, the click and collect service is a huge time saver, and also means they can check something is in stock and have it put aside for them before making the journey to a store.

“It makes the whole process faster, and reduces the risk of making a special journey to a store only to find the item is out of stock.”

If you’re a retailer looking for somewhere to store your stock, get in touch. We have branches across the country and our average lead time for a storage container is just 48 hours, so we’re bound to have something to fit your needs.