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If you can’t beat them, join them: Next partners with Amazon

Amazon has been a thorn in the side of bricks-and-mortar retailers for years, but the ecommerce giant’s customers will now be able to go into Next stores to pick up their parcels
amazon counter at next
Next hopes the partnership will drive more customers into its shops

Next PLC (LON:NXT) was among London’s top blue-chip risers on Tuesday after it partnered with ecommerce giant Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN).

In a bid to capitalise on growing demand for click and collect services, Amazon has struck a deal that will allow its customers to collect their parcels from Next’s high street stores.

READ: Easter bunny delivers for Next

Next hopes the partnership will help to drive traffic into its shops, at a time when high street footfall is declining.

The new ‘Counter’ service goes live today (Tuesday) and builds on Amazon’s existing parcel pick-up options, which include hundreds of lockers in Morrisons and Co-Op shops, as well as many others.

“The ability to collect Amazon parcels from hundreds of Next’s UK stores provides a helpful and exciting new service for UK consumers,” said Next chief executive Lord Wolfson.

“In a tough retail environment, our aim is that Amazon Counter will contribute to the continued relevance and vibrancy of our stores.”

'Win-win' for Amazon and Next

Next has been one of the UK’s pioneers in click and collect as it grapples with changing consumer habits, with shoppers now preferring to buy clothes and other goods online.

Amazon said feedback and data from earlier trials showed that adding ‘Counter’ to a store’s retail offer helped to increase customer footfall.

It is rolling out the service in Italy as well, and it remains on the hunt for more partners across Europe, from family-run corner shops to large chains.

“We see it as a great way to create more convenience for our customers and create a win-win situation for the retailers who partner with us,” said Amazon’s director of lockers and pick up, Patrick Supanc.

Next shares rose 1.4% to 5,684p on Tuesday.

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