Retail expert, John Pal, comments on Asda offering London commuters the chance to collect pre-ordered groceries on their way home from work from tube station car parks:
In the past retailers have grown their businesses by either adopting a cost advantage or enhancing facilities. They have then generally re-invested those gains in more stores, and the cycle continues. However, as the grocery sector becomes increasingly saturated the addition of new stores is not the sole means of growth. Seeking out a competitive advantage is becoming more difficult. Click and collect is one way to gain some advantage and is becoming more mainstream.
Once seen as a predominantly northern operation Asda’s southern push sees them in confident mood to take a tilt at an ambitious, but what seems like a sensible, move to match their offer to the large footfall evident at tube stations. It appears consumers want the convenience of such a service and the challenge for Asda will be to manage the costs associated with it so that the overall price advantage they might possess is not lost.