Even with the best delivery partner in the world and flexible delivery times you still can't guarantee that a customer will be in to take delivery, or there to make a return. However delivery business Hermes has a solution, the Parcelshop.

Hermes has launched a network of 500 Parcelshops nationwide that take the pain out of home delivery for businesses and customers. Businesses will initially be able to offer the myHermes ParcelShops as a cost-effective means of returning unwanted online purchases, with plans to extend the service to allow consumers to specify their nearest location as an alternative to home delivery.

According to independent research carried out by Hermes last year the returns process remains a continuing issue for online shoppers. The research showed that 16 percent of people return at least one item per order and, while more than 50 percent use the Post Office to return goods, they find it inconvenient and slow.

Parcelshops located in local convenience stores

The branded myHermes ParcelShops are located in local convenience stores such as Spa, Nisa, Premier and Co-op as well as local independents, in major urban locations that have been specially selected based on population density and home delivery demand.

The initial network of parcel shops is expected to be increased by a further 500 locations by the end of the year to extend the nationwide reach of the service.

Parcelshops open 8 to 8

Each store offers extended opening hours, typically 8 until 8, and in the first phase will be providing a drop off service for people who want to return goods they have purchased online. This will help retailers to address the difficult area of returns providing a quicker, simpler and more efficient option to their customers and giving them an alternative to the current courier collection option.