Christmas is fast approaching and as I write this, I’m thinking about all the things I’ve still got to do. These include wrapping presents then wrapping them again in brown paper and sending them off to far flung places before those pesky ’last posting dates’. December is, of course, the big one for parcels which got me thinking about all these new click and collect operations that have popped up.

Lots of convenience stores are offering the facility to drop off and collect parcels in essence it sounds great but in practice not always so. In the interests of research, I decided to have a recent MyHermes parcel delivered to my local shop. It’s a good idea if you’re not sure when you’re going to be in but my nearest MyHermes outlet is on a busy intersection with no parking nearby. I therefore went for my next nearest location a c-store chain outlet on a housing estate.

It seemed to take an age for the parcel to make it to the store. I’m sure when I order for direct delivery, parcels arrive much sooner.

Once I’d received notification I tootled off to said store, queued up then held up the queue as the person on the till had to go to the other end of the store to find my parcel. Then there was the ID procedure I know it has to be done but again that held up the queue pity the poor people behind me.

It was an okay experience, nothing earth shatteringly great but I thought I’d give it another go. So, I returned to said store for my next delivery and my experience was worse than the first time. The shop assistant found my parcel quickly enough but she could not get the bar code to scan. She tried it one way, she tried it another again and again and, you’ve guessed it, the queue behind me just grew and grew. In the end I suggested she cut the bar code from the parcel, which she did, and I left her to scan away to her heart’s content. Needless to say I am returning to home delivery it just seems less hassle. But there’s no doubt that click and collect is popular. Amazon has recently joined forces with Royal Mail to have customers’ purchases delivered to post offices, which is in addition to Pass my Parcel retail locations, Collect+ stores and lockers at train stations. Then there are InPost parcel lockers popping up everywhere. The list goes on... Time to look into it If you haven’t already!