Ask any Airfrov traveller, and they will tell you that hunting for an item can be a harrowing and exhausting exercise. A trip is made to a store, only to learn that an item is out of stock, whereby a mad scramble to the next nearest location takes place. And the next, and then the next, until the item is found or the shops close for the evening. This is an experience that I can almost certainly relate to.
Click-and-collect became mainstream in the UK to address shortcomings with parcel delivery services, which tend to deliver only within limited time slots, by routing online purchases to shops acting as collection points. As most click-and-collect schemes are offered at no extra cost, one can cheaply and easily take the guesswork out of Airfrov shopping by buying requested items online and arranging in advance to have it collected from a convenient location. With careful planning, it can be a very useful tool in the hands of an Airfrov traveller, who can schedule collections at several shops within a short walk of each other, and pick everything up in one go.
What follows is a list of notable British retailers that are popular amongst requesters on Airfrov, and offer click-and-collect as a delivery option. It is by no means exhaustive, so always check online to see if click-and-collect is available, so that the item requested on Airfrov can be secured without worrying about making a fruitless trip.
Clarks – shoes can be ordered 3 to 4 working days in advance, and are held at a chosen store for free for 28 days.
John Lewis and Waitrose – orders can be made and collected from most outlets in their extensive network. A £2 charged will be levied on orders below £30, and while available for most items, bulky goods are excluded. Orders will be available at 2pm the next day, provided that they are made before the 8pm cut-off time.
Nespresso – orders can be placed two hours in advance for collection from selected stores in London. Collections can be made in the time window between one hour after opening and one hour before closing, from selected boutiques. Be mindful to make the collection within 7 working days.
Superdrug – orders are delivered free to a chosen store within 3 working days, or the following day for orders above £10.
Topshop – orders are delivered free to a chosen location within 3 to 7 working days and are held for 10 days.
Boots – Orders made before 8pm can be collected from 12pm the next day. In addition to this, Boots is unique amongst the retailers in offering collections from airside stores at UK airports including Heathrow, provided that orders are made 5 days in advance. This would be especially useful when buying things like shampoo or shower gels, which would otherwise have to be checked in.
It’s sometimes helpful to check if a requested item is available on eBay, and if the seller offers Argos click-and-collect as a delivery option. eBay UK rolled out a partnership with Argos in 2014, granting eBay sellers the option to deliver items to Argos stores countrywide, at no cost to the buyer. An eBay account will have to be created, and Argos have a slightly involved process to release the item to you, so plan ahead before collecting. There’s at least one request on Airfrov that was fulfilled using eBay.
Given that Argos stocks a wide variety of items, it might also be helpful to see if they sell anything else that might be requested on Airfrov, so that multiple items can be ordered online from both eBay and Argos, and brought back in a single trip.
Doddle.com – Click & collect
Doddle is a British startup set up to address the need to receive deliveries while absent from home, either due to work or other activities. They offer collection points for online shopping deliveries, and is hence in some ways very similar to Ninja Collect points in Singapore.
For certain orders, they offer free collection services for Nespresso, Amazon UK, ASOS, New Look and a host of otherretailers. In addition to free pickups from its stores, Nespresso pickups from Doddle locations are free for orders over 200 capsules and all machines, and £3.95 otherwise.
For selected items, Amazon UK offers free pickup services from any Doddle location, for orders over £20. Be careful to check that the items that you purchase qualify for free pickup, or you may be charged for the delivery! Note also that Amazon UK is a separate operation from Amazon US.
For both, Doddle will hold onto your parcel for 5 working days before sending it back, so ensure that your order is timed correctly to ensure that you are available to pick it up. Doddle shops are located near the Victoria, Waterloo and King’s Cross, all three stations being popular and busy stops on the London Underground rail network. Other locations can be found in London and throughout the UK.
The above article is contributed by Airfrov traveller Alwyn Tan. If you would like to contribute similar travel tips & hacks, drop us a mail!