A new measure to allow all shops to offer ’click and collect’ services has been welcomed by the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN).

Under the move, from April 15 retailers will no longer have to apply for planning permission before providing the service.

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “This move will provide significant benefits for members as well as providing the local community with a tremendous valuable service.

“With our members’ shops open from early morning to late at night, customers will have the convenience of picking up their parcels from their local shops on the way to work or as they are travelling home, rather than possibly missing deliveries from parcel couriers.

“By offering a click and collect parcel service members can also expect to enjoy some tangible returns, with increased footfall and more store sales.”

Announcing the new move, planning minister Brandon Lewis said: “How we shop is changing radically and I want to help our high streets thrive from online competition. Today’s measures will mean even more retailers can offer ‘click and collect’ services, encouraging shoppers to visit their businesses and pick up their purchases at a time that suits them.”

Extending the click and collect service to all stores is just one of a range of measures the government will be introducing to encourage shoppers back to town centres and high streets, he added.