THE click and collect market could be worth nearly £10 billion by 2023. Vicky Shaw looks at how it could give the high street a much-needed boost.

Busy lifestyles and the move to online shopping have transformed the way we go about making purchases. And one of the ways in which our habits are changing is a growing appetite for 'click and collect' services - where items bought online are collected in local shops or lockers.

As stores gear up for the busy Christmas shopping season, here's a look at why the popularity of click and collect is growing - as well as how it could boost the high street.

How popular is click and collect?

More than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers are now choosing to pick up items bought online in store, according to Barclaycard, which commissioned surveys of consumers and retailers.

Barclaycard's findings follow predictions earlier this year from analytics company GlobalData that the UK click and collect market is set to grow to be worth nearly £10 billion by 2023.

The convenience of click and collect - when many people may be out at work and unable to take deliveries - is a strong part of its appeal for consumers. Over two-fifths (42%) in Barclaycard's research rely on these services because they're out during the day. And one in six (15%) favour it, as they cannot receive deliveries while at work.

How can click and collect help retailers?

One side-effect of the popularity of online shopping for retailers is the high numbers of returns - some of which may not be re-saleable.

Barclaycard found more than three-quarters (77%) of retailers say providing click and collect services actually reduces the volume of returns. This saves stores the cost of processing refunds and re-stocking.

Click and collect can also have other positive benefits for stores. For example, when customers come in to collect, they may also look at what else is on the shelves. Barclaycard's research found that 85% of customers buy additional items when using click and collect.

So, what are retailers doing to meet demand?

Nine in 10 (90%) retailers are intending to invest in the service over the next five years, according to Barclaycard.

Indeed, 87% say click and collect is their fastest growing delivery option. And some retailers are innovating by clubbing together.

John Lewis launched a five-store click and collect trial with the Co-op in May, and has extended this to a further 50 Co-op locations. This trial follows a successful partnership with food store Booths. And it's finding that many click and collect orders are from new customers.

Eva Cullen, partner and head of customer fulfilment operations for John Lewis & Partners says: "Our click and collect service is growing in popularity every year, as our customers benefit from the ease of being able to pick up their order at a time and place which is convenient to them."

Barclaycard found 60% of consumers want to see more businesses teaming up. Kirsty Morris, the director of Barclaycard payment solutions, says: "Not only does click and collect offer merchants the opportunity to increase sales, our research shows it can improve the overall customer experience as a complement to online shopping, while reducing return volumes too.

"With the retail sector facing unprecedented challenges, investing in click and collect partnerships should be part of a long-term strategy for retailers, to encourage shoppers into stores and respond to the changing shape of the nation's high streets."

Is there any other positive news for the high street?

Despite concerns about the 'death of the high street', analysis from Which? found the personal touch provided by some traders and shops has helped them thrive.

They include markets, tattoo and piercing parlours, beauty services, funeral directors, tea rooms and cafes.

Which? suggests that UK high streets need to become wise to the unique role they can play in consumers' lives, offering services which attract people into town centres.

Harry Rose, editor, Which? magazine, says: "As shoppers' needs and habits evolve, it's vital that businesses keep up with these changing trends and consider how they can grow with them, in order to continue thriving on the high street."


As the evenings get darker, burglars can use shady hiding places as an opportunity to break in to homes - leading to a spike in insurance claims.

Last year, there was a 35% increase in Halifax Home Insurance claims for forced burglary between the 'darker' months of October to December, versus the 'lighter' months of March to May.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager at Halifax Home Insurance, says: "Following some of our simple tips is an easy way for homeowners to protect their properties during the darker days."

Here are the insurer's tips for to keep your property safe in the darker months...

1. Make sure bushes, hedges and trees aren't creating easy hiding places for burglars.

2. Leave a light on in your home when you are out, or have a light timer fitted.

3. Think about installing exterior security lights at the front and back of your property.

4. Leave the radio or the television on to give the impression that the house is occupied.

5. If possible, invest in a CCTV system. You can now also buy cameras that allow you to monitor your home remotely via your smart phone or tablet.

6. Consider investing in a burglar alarm. Not only do they keep your home safe, but also act as a deterrent to burglars, and could reduce your home insurance premium.

7. Having a gravel driveway can be a good deterrent to burglars as the sound will alert home owners to an intruder.

8. With upcoming seasonal parties and religious festivals, households might have more expensive items in the home than normal. Make sure you have the right level of insurance cover for these possessions.


Financial fact: The number mortgage approvals made to home buyers dipped to a six-month low in September, according to a trade association show.

Some 42,310 loans were approved for house purchase - the lowest monthly total since March, according to data from UK Finance.


Nearly a third (32%) of home owners, aged between 18 and 34, were given financial help by their grandparents to buy a property - compared with just 3% of over-55s who previously had the same assistance.

Homeowners were typically 25 years old when they received financial support from their grandparents, according to the research from online mortgage broker, Trussle.

The amount of financial help received was, on average, over £7,400.


Nearly three in 10 people expect their financial situation to deteriorate in 2020, a survey has found.

Some 29% of people across Britain predict their finances will get worse in the coming year.

This was twice as many as the one in seven (14%) who expect to see an improvement, according to YouGov research for StepChange Debt Charity.


Many people have "blind spots" about the impact of life events on their pension, a survey has found.

More than half (57%) of people surveyed for the Money and Pensions Service were unaware that they could access their pension early due to severe ill health.

And many were unaware they could top up their pension while on parental leave.

Women were less likely to know they can keep paying into their pension while on parental leave (61%) than men (51%), the UK-wide survey of more than 2,000 people who are not retired found.