Amazon revolution proves great for business at shopping centre

A shopping centre in Wrexham is embracing the internet retail revolution with the installation of an Amazon locker where people can pick up their online purchases.

According to Eagle Meadow manager Kevin Critchley, internet shopping isn’t having a negative effect on its centre. Instead, it’s attracting more customers and business there.

Click and collect sales have been a big hit for years. Stores have been reporting that customers are increasingly ordering products online and picking them up in store the next day.

The Eagle Meadow Branch of Marks and Spencer is one of them. It’s seen a 50 per cent increase in click and collect shoppers coming into the store over the last year.

Critchley believes that the Amazon Locker will give the centre a big boost, going against the idea that internet shopping is bad for bricks and mortar-based retailers.

“The public perception is that internet retailing is damaging shopping centres but many of the companies trading in traditional shopping centres are also trading on-line and we shouldn’t forget that,” he said.

“Most bricks and mortar retailers offer customers a click and collect option. Of course, there are many companies that have grown purely as online companies and Amazon is one of them.

“Amazon doesn’t have any physical shops and do all their business online. Nonetheless, they are a major retailer and a shopping centre that ignores new developments in retailing is failing to provide a full service to its customers.”

“The newly-installed Amazon Locker at Eagles Meadow means customers who shop through Amazon have an easy and convenient location to collect their purchases at any time throughout the day.

Eagles Meadow M&S manager Deborah Hitchen said her store’s Order and Collect service is proving increasingly popular with customers and bringing more business.

She said: “I would say we have seen a 50% increase in customers using the service in the past 12 months and I expect to see a further rise over the next 12 months.

“It’s all about customer convenience. There’s a really fast turnaround so customers can pick up their purchases whenever it suits them.

“The system suits many customers because they can sit in the comfort of their own home and view the full M&S catalogue on a tablet or lap-top and order what they want in the size they want and know it will be here to collect the next day. There is no waiting for delivery.

“And it maybe they want a style or size that we don’t have room to stock in our Wrexham store but they can still order and collect it.

“It also means people can try their purchases on in the comfort of their own safe in the knowledge they can get a no quibble refund should they need it.”