Travel retail schemes: Tesco and Sainsbury’s withdraw from click and collect at Tube stations

Photo by Saad Sharif on Unsplash

This week both Tesco and Sainsbury’s announced plans to withdraw from their click-and-collect scheme which they were offering in partnership with transport for London, to enable people to conveniently collect their groceries at Tube stations across London. Causing us to ponder whether this could this mark the end of other similar travel retail schemes.

The supermarket click-and-collect scheme was launched around around 18 months ago at 10 Tube stations across London, in collaboration with TFL, with 5 stores signed up to participate: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and Ocado. The collection points were positioned outside each station and the stores hoped that it would offer a convenient way for busy commuters to collect any essential groceries during their daily commute.

However, according to Retail Week it has now emerged that both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have decided to pull out – due to a lack of participation from customers. Instead they want to focus on other forms of click-and-collect at other locations across the UK, based on customer feedback about the scheme – as a spokesman for Tesco explained:

“Our London customers have told us they prefer the click-and-collect service at our stores and online grocery shopping.”

Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s now suggest that their foray into this type of travel retail scheme was nothing more than a trial, as a spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s confirmed:

“Although it was popular in some areas, it wasn’t used in others as much as we’d like, so we’re now focused on rolling out a grocery click-and-collect service in our stores across the country – with over 20 sites in operation and 100 due by the end of the year.”

Although still participating in the Tube scheme, rival supermarket Asda has also been working on new methods for click and collect – such as it’s new standalone, 24 / 7 click-and-collect service with ‘intelligent pods’ which is being trialled at St Helen’s in Lancashire.

We’re now interested to see how this effects other similar schemes and where the ‘big 4’ (and other supermarkets) will be taking the click-and-collect format from here.