Doddle given go ahead for National roll out
Doddle, the new parcel collection and delivery service located at railway stations and major hubs across Britain, has announced that it will open at 300 new locations within the next three years, creating over 3,000 new jobs.
We wrote about the Doddle trial in Milton Keynes in December, and following the successful pilot of the service by Network Rail employees from its nearby national centre and local businesses such as Santander the service is now set to expand to full operation.
With immediate effect Doddle will operate as in independent, standalone limited company, with Network Rail and Lloyd Dorfman CBE holding equal majority shareholdings. Lloyd is best known for creating the Travelex Group which is now the world’s largest non-bank foreign exchange business.
Leading online fashion retailer ASOS is to be one of the early adopters of the service, initially offering it for returns to over 40,000 customers in the Milton Keynes region. Others include: New Look, the leading multi-channel fast fashion retailer; Countrywide Farmers, the country and equestrian clothing specialist; and TM Lewin, the stylish business wear specialist who is using Doddle to sit alongside its existing click & collect and next day delivery services.
The first five new Doddle shops will be at London Waterloo (which last year enjoyed a footfall in excess of 100 million), Bromley South, Brighton, Chelmsford and London Cannon Street. They will be located in dedicated retail units within the stations or within built–to-order facilities. Open seven days a week, early until late, they will fit with people’s busy lifestyles and enable them to choose exactly how, when and where they send, return and receive parcels. There is an easy-to-use website and notifications through SMS and email.
The business will be headed up by Tim Robinson, who was previously Route Managing Director, Sussex at Network Rail and has been responsible for driving the development of the Doddle concept within the business. He is joined by Peter Louden as COO who has been Project Director at Doddle since its inception in 2013, and Adam Lauffer as CFO, a former Commercial Director at Monetise.
Tim Robinson, CEO at Doddle told us: “Doddle was created to capitalise on the booming online retail market and the increasing demands by customers for more convenient delivery solutions. It offers a premium service that is unique in the marketplace with dedicated and stylish shops, advanced technology and highly trained staff delivering a high-end customer experience. It is the next major step in the online shopping phenomenon, providing a parcel collection, returns and delivery service that has customer choice and convenience at its very heart.”
The Doddle service will be the only one of its kind that is available to every retailer, e-tailer, parcel carrier and shipper, creating a network of single points for the collection, return and sending of parcels. This open access approach aims to enable retailers and carriers to enhance and complement their existing delivery offering, and also allow the consumer to combine collections and returns from multiple retailers into one trip at a time that suits them or coincides with an already planned journey.
The big question of course is will eBay integrate Doddle into their new Managed Returns program soon to become compulsory. If you want to use Doddle for your business you can contact Doddle through their website or at email@example.com to find out more about setting up an account.