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Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Warehouse reports 'click and collect' success

The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell - initially dubious about the popularity of 'click and collect' - but has now seen 12pc of its online sales use the service. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell - initially dubious about the popularity of 'click and collect' - but has now seen 12pc of its online sales use the service. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The Warehouse Group, New Zealand's biggest listed retailer, says its new "click and collect" service, introduced two weeks ago, is already accounting for 12 per cent of total online sales at its Red Sheds stores.

The concept allows customers to purchase products online and pick them up in a physical store.

The Warehouse Group's chief executive, Mark Powell, said he had initially been "dubious" about how popular click and collect would be, but his doubts had been unfounded.

"The market's there," he said. "People want the service."

Currently, click and collect is only available at The Warehouse stores, but Powell said the service would be extended to Warehouse Stationery - the "Blue Sheds" - next month.

It is "unofficially" available at Noel Leeming, the electronics chain The Warehouse Group acquired last year, he said, adding that the service would become official at that business later this year.

Powell said click and collect offered customers the convenience of not having to be at home to receive a courier delivery of products bought online.

"We've all experienced the dreaded courier leaflet when you get home," he said.

Other listed retailers are also eyeing the concept, with Kathmandu saying earlier this month it was in the process of developing a click and collect service in its stores.

Children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch launched click and collect last year.

Powell said there was scope for The Warehouse Group to offer a single collection point for products bought online across the company's various retail brands, including Torpedo7, the online sports gear retailer it purchased a 51 per cent stake in this year.

Under Powell's leadership the company has embarked on a major change in strategy, involving numerous acquisitions as well as as a focus on online retail and growing the firm's multichannel presence.

The Warehouse Group posted full-year sales of $2.24 billion in its last financial year, an almost 30 per cent increase on the prior period.

Adjusted net profit rose 13.1 per cent to $73.7 million.

Shares are up 4c at $3.70 in early trading today.

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