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Mark Lewis, chief executive of CollectPlus

1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?

The rapid rise of Click and Collect services presents the biggest opportunity for our business. With over half of online consumers already using the service, this take-up indicates that customers are rejecting a one-size-fits-all delivery approach – that they don’t want to wait in for delivery nor do they want the hassle of missing the parcel. It was the realisation of this shift in consumer attitudes that led to CollectPlus being set up in 2009.  

2. W

hat is the biggest challenge to your business?

Our biggest challenge is supporting the growth of our business, which grew at 250% last year. However, I like to see this more as an opportunity than a challenge!

3.

With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?

In any innovative business, it is important to test out approaches and quickly learn from both the successes and failures.  Fortunately we’ve had more of the former than the latter, but getting the balance right between the number of parcels in the network and rate of store growth was a critical learning for us.

4. What is the future of the physical store?

It’s is difficult to predict what is going to happen, but it is clear that both offline and online retail are increasingly being presented as one, to the point where they will no longer be seen as different shopping channels. Customers expect a seamless experience across every touch point and CollectPlus can help provide this.


5. What will the high street look like in a decade?

I would expect to see many of the same retailers on the high street, but for the format of their shops to be very different. I think there will be more collection points and opportunities to order online within the store environment.

6. Will mobile devices be the primary sales channel in the future?

I think it is likely that this will be the case. Over 20% of online traffic already comes from mobile devices, and it is widely believed that m-commerce is influencing a much higher percentage of overall retail sales.  

7. What other retail business do you admire?

I admire John Lewis because they consistently perform well and I consider them to be trend setters by embracing a 360 degree multi-channel shopping experience.

8. If you hadn’t been a retailer/provider-to-retailers what would you have liked to do?

My mum used to run a market stall, so I developed an interest in retail from an early age. However, I have been told that as a child I said I wanted to design roller coasters when I grew up!

9. What marks out of 10 do you give yourself so far for achievement?

I will leave that for others to score, but I’m very proud that CollectPlus has grown so rapidly over the past year and has been recognised by the industry for our innovation in delivery with a number of fantastic awards.