Tesco click & collect arrives at London’s tube stationsDigital Manager
Although it was narrowly beaten in the race to launch, Tesco established its own tube station click and collect service in London last Wednesday.
Whilst clearly a promising and welcome introduction, particularly for commuters, the supermarket chain’s refrigerated van is located in probably one of the most remote locations in the capital.
Rayners Lane is a tube stop right at the end of the Piccadilly Line (you may have heard the lady on the tannoy in the morning) on the adjacent branch to Heathrow, and speaking from experience, the journey from central London is considerable. Whilst Tesco are obviously not expecting residents in the centre of town to travel out, collect their shopping, and make the hour long journey back, the decision to position their refrigerated van at the far end of a remote station car park is somewhat strange.
Not only is there a Tesco Express located within 2 minutes walk of the tube exit anyway, which is probably closer than the van in the car park, but no information is provided at the station itself about the service or how to get to it. Because of this, when I went to check it out yesterday, completing the final stage of my journey was a tad frustrating. Crossing the road, searching the wrong car park, crossing back over the road, looking to the right of the station, circling round to the left, and finally… 50 yards or so down a residential street was a small sign with an arrow pointing me towards my click and collect destination.
To be fair, once you’re in the correct car park, Tesco have decorated street lamps and surrounding fences throughout with large banners, but obviously unless you’re driving to the tube everyday, these will go unseen. However it seems Tesco aren’t entirely to blame for this. Speaking to the driver of the van, he told me TFL had forbidden Tesco to carry out any form of advertising in the way of posters or the like inside the station and even told him not to hand out information outside. Surely if commuter convenience is the issue being considered, an objective shared by both you would think, companies offering services such as this should be encouraged and supported by government and its organisations.
As a result the driver says some people have failed to collect their orders and many have assumed they would be picking them up from the Tesco Express store on the high street. The supermarket will be opening up the same service at 6 other tube stations in the coming weeks with Finchley Central, a considerably busier station, set to be included. It’ll be interesting to see how it does with a much greater flow of commuter traffic to enjoy.
Other supermarkets embracing the concept include Asda and Waitrose with locations yet to be decided. Unfortunately there’s no consumer say in who goes where, so whichever store you’re lucky enough, or indeed unlucky enough, to have park up at your tube stop is simply a lottery.
Richard Ingoldby, Digital Executive