John Lewis unveils CollectPlus deal

John Lewis has unveiled plans to allow customers to return and collect online shopping at a network of 5,000 local shops and petrol stations.

Under a deal with delivery and returns business CollectPlus, customers will be able to take back clothes, shoes and other fashion items to convenience stores and newsagents for free.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

The department store will also trial a £3 click and collect service from the autumn at the shops and petrol stations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the South-West of England.

CollectPlus, which was set up as a joint venture between delivery company Yodel and PayPoint in 2009, already works with big retail names including Amazon, House of Fraser, Littlewoods, and ASOS.

John Lewis has agreed the deal after the success of collection points in 234 department stores and Waitrose supermarkets.

Karen Dracou, head of omnichannel development at John Lewis, said customers were looking for ever-more convenient ways of shopping and the group has already seen click and collect orders double over the past year, with the service accounting for 35% of online sales over Christmas.

The plans were unveiled as John Lewis revealed a 30.4% jump in online sales last week, driven by demand for electricals and home technology. It contributed to an overall 8.3% increase in sales to £63.2 million, in the week to February 16.

It was much slower than the 22.4% leap in sales in the same week last year as the snow returned to many parts of Britain and half term was also later.

Sales at Waitrose were £116.9 million in the same period and were 12.4% higher, excluding petrol, than the same week the previous year.

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John Lewis unveils CollectPlus deal

This takes time, but once you know the cost of a phone call, putting the dryer on, or a bag of potatoes, it enables you to judge far better how much you can afford to consume.

Once you know the base price, you are in a position to keep your eyes open for a better offer. If you see a discount you can judge for yourself whether it actually constitutes a bargain. For bigger things like utilities it enables you to do a proper price comparison and see if you can cut your bills.

Don't just assume that the premium range is better, try the every-day brand, or even the basic version and see if you spot the difference. Likewise, consider trading down your supermarket from one of the big players to local markets or discounters like Aldi.

If you plan what you buy to match what you actually cook and eat then not only will you be able to budget far more effectively, but you'll also waste much less and find your money goes further without you having to try.

If you can't think of a way to get your meat for less, consider a vegetarian day once a week. If you can't find petrol any cheaper, then work on making your driving as efficient as possible. The more you can think of clever alternatives the less you will have to make painful cuts to make ends meet.


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