Customer data from Collect+ reveals that people are increasingly using the service to send and receive parcels outside working hours.

Rejecting the rigid opening hours of traditional drop-off points, consumers have embraced the service, with a 19% increase in parcels being sent and received outside normal business hours in May 2011, compared to October 2010.

Collect+ reveals that two fifths of its transactions (41%) take place when post offices are closed.

With 98% of the 3,900 Collect+ outlets open seven days a week and, normally, early in the morning until late at night, the service offers online shoppers the option to pick up or drop off parcel purchases at a time convenient to them.

Mark Lewis, CEO of Collect+, said: “The way we shop has fundamentally changed, with people now expecting to be able to access their favourite store online whenever they like. It logically follows that consumers also need to be able to collect items and return deliveries outside the old-fashioned nine to five trading day. Our customer insight on the service supports this, with many shoppers coming to us for the choice and convenience that the Post Office sadly lacks.”

A fifth of those sending and receiving parcels via Collect+ on Monday to Friday are visiting the local shops after 17.30. In addition, more than half (56%) of deliveries and collections made on Saturdays are during the afternoon, after the Post Office has closed for the day. The retailers partnering with Collect+ include Very, ASOS, Boden and M&M Direct.

The Collect+ service offers flexible and convenient returns and deliveries through Yodel, the UK’s leading parcel delivery company, and participating shops within the PayPoint network.