Petrol stations will be acting as collection points for online customers of John Lewis as part of a trial it is running.

It is offering the service through CollectPlus, which enables customers to pick up online purchases at local convenience stores and petrol forecourts, and the trial will initially launch in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the South West of England.

CollectPlus claims it has more than 5,250 local stores in its UK network, and that more than 88% of people in towns in the UK are within a mile of a CollectPlus store. The John Lewis CollectPlus service will be available to consumers at 1,500 locations at a cost £3.

The new service follows the successful launch of a free national returns offer in February, which gives John Lewis customers the choice to return online purchases from their local CollectPlus store.

Sarah Ince, business development manager at John Lewis, said: “Click and collect services remain an area of huge growth for John Lewis and we’re delighted to offer this option to our customers alongside the collection service available in our own shops. The CollectPlus network provides us with a truly national reach and means that customers who may not necessarily live close to one of our shops can still collect their online order at their convenience.”

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus, added: “This is a great example of how CollectPlus is the perfect partner for retailers. We are trialling the service in these four regions of the UK to offer John Lewis new customer touch-points, in areas where residents are in need of greater choice and convenience. The partnership with John Lewis so far has proven to be a great success and we’re very excited to be working with them to help to successfully deliver to more online shoppers around the UK.”

Alan Troy, manager of the Castle Service Station and Spar store in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, said: “I was very pleased to hear that John Lewis is now offering a collection service through CollectPlus in Ballycastle. Our opening hours and the parking available outside make us very convenient for customers and, as a result, the CollectPlus service has been extremely popular. I’m now telling all our customers that they can choose to have online John Lewis purchases delivered to the store for collection at a time that suits them, whether it’s when buying their milk and newspapers in the morning or picking up dinner in the evening.”