doddle-shoDoddle will be teaming up with delivery company DPD, when its “Commute and collect” parcel shops join the DPD Pickup network that is launching on 22nd June.

Doddle, a joint venture between Network Rail and entrepreneur Lloyd Dorfman, runs a network of parcel shops located at UK rail stations. Yesterday (3 June), the company announced the opening of its 35th store, located on Platform 12 at London’s Paddington Station, one of the busiest stations in the country with 17.4m visitors each year.

Doddle launched in September 2014 and plans to expand its network to around 100 stores by the end of this year. Its shops are fully manned, open 7 days a week early until late and many include changing rooms (a handy feature for customers who need to try on their online clothes purchases).

In a statement issued today (3 June), DPD said that Pickup “aims to transform ‘collect and return’ by truly integrating it into the purchasing and delivery processes and offering customers a greatly improved parcel shop experience”.

DPD Pickup will be one of the ‘in-flight’ options available in DPD’s text and email notifications, which are sent to customers ahead of a scheduled home delivery.

DPD’s CEO Dwain McDonald commented: “Doddle is a great fit with DPD Pickup and I’m delighted to be able to offer their service as part of our network. We set out to give our customers a much better parcel shop experience and that’s exactly what Doddle does.”

McDonald added that one of DPD’s “core objectives” was to have shops located “within five minutes of most people in London” – and Doddle’s locations fit the bill.

DPD Pickup is all about helping to put our customers in control of where and when their parcel is delivered and giving them even more choice,” McDonald said. “Doddle shops are accessible, easy to use and have the capacity to handle very large volumes of parcels. When you couple that with our Predictand Follow My Parcel services you get a very smart proposition indeed, and a great customer experience.”

Doddle will join Halfords and the Rowlands and Numark Pharmacy chains already signed up under DPD’s plans announced in January.

DPD said that further retail partners are likely to be announced in the coming weeks as the company “builds a network of 2,500 parcel shops located at retail outlets that are within ten minutes of most people in the UK”.

At the tail of today’s statement, DPD also confirmed that the construction on its new £100m parcel hub at Hinckley in the East Midlands is now complete and the facility “is on schedule to open later in 2015, creating another 1,000 permanent full-time jobs”.

By Alison