Start-up delivery software firm Coll-8 has clinched an agreement with the owner of Spar, Mace, and Londis for shoppers to pick up parcels at 1,100 shops, a move it says will shake up delivery-and-returns for all online purchases made in the Republic.
Coll-8 and its drop2shop brand is the first major venture of Dave Field, who was a co-founder of delivery firm Nightline which was sold to UPS three years ago.
The software firm and retail group BWG, run by group chief executive Leo Crawford, plan to roll out the service in the next few months at the first 400 of BWG’s around 1,100 stores which include the Spar, Mace, XL, and Londis names.
It claims the system will be uniquely favourable for online shoppers because the parcels will be sent from across the world to one location in Ireland, BWG’s national distribution centre in Clondalkin in west Dublin, for distribution to the stores by the regular BWG delivery fleet.
Shoppers, it says, will have the convenience of picking up and returning their parcels during opening hours at their local stores.
The system will depend on Coll-8 striking agreements with international fashion and electronics online retailers, and it appears that it is extending its list of agreements.
Coll-8 will also be led by general manager Eamonn Cunningham, commercial director Dean Lycett, national sales manager Tim Quinn, and Gerry Bowers, who helped set up the IT system at Nightline, as well as financial director Glenn Bradley.
“Coll-8 may be a start-up but it’s run by individuals who arguably understand the Irish e-commerce delivery sector better than anyone else,” said BWG’s logistics director Joanne Mellon.
Mr Field, who is chief operations officer at Coll-8, said drop2shop will provide Ireland’s consumers with “fast, safe, and environmentally friendly” deliveries.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say that the services which we will be able to offer to shoppers will be a significant improvement on what’s currently available,” said Mr Field.