Throughout the various national lockdowns and tier restrictions in the UK during the pandemic, shoppers have relied heavily on click and collect services.
But now, one of the country’s biggest retailers is putting a stop to the collection of pre-paid online orders from stores as the coronavirus crisis intensifies.
On Tuesday, John Lewis & Partners announced that it would be suspending its click and collect service during the third lockdown in response to a “clear change in tone and emphasis” from governments across the UK.
The retailer said it felt the changes were right with the nation at such a “critical point in the pandemic” and that it wanted to “remove reasons for non-essential travel”.
John Lewis & Partners said that while click and collect from its department stores would be switched off for new orders from the end of Tuesday, the service will still be available from sister retailer Waitrose & Partners.
“We've listened carefully to the clear change in tone and emphasis of the views and information shared by the UK's governments in recent days,” said Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations.
“While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us – and in the best interests of our Partners and customers – to take proactive steps to further enhance our Covid-security and related operational policies.”
With our shops now closed, our priority remains to keep you and our Partners safe, so we will no longer be offering Click & Collect at John Lewis shops. You can still Click & Collect from Waitrose shops and over 500 new locations. Find out more here: https://t.co/L2Zv7uV5tC pic.twitter.com/D3Low4IlEE
— jlandpartners (@jlandpartners) January 12, 2021
Under the current lockdown rules, all non-essential retail has been forced to close, however stores are permitted to allow customers to pick up online orders from branches.
Anyone using a click and collect service is urged to follow government guidelines, adhere to one-way systems, maintain a two-metre distance from others, wear a face covering and go alone where possible.
If you are looking to place an order, read on for our guide to the retailers that are continuing to offer click and collect during lockdown 3.0, from supermarkets and high street stores to DIY outlets.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Click and collect on the high street
Customers can still use click and collect, despite standalone Argos stores being closed.
However, shoppers are not permitted to enter stores, meaning staff will instead take your order number at the door and bring your item to you.
As shops are currently closed, you must place an order online beforehand, where you will pay up-front and be advised which store you can collect from. You will receive a text or email with your collection reference, which you’ll need to have when you collect.
The retailer’s click and collect service is free, or you can pay £3.95 for home delivery.
Currys PC World is allowing customers to order online and pick up at any of its 300 stores for free.
If your item is in stock, you can pick it up on the same day or, if it's not in stock at your local store, you can send it there for pick-up on a day that suits you.
For those wishing to collect from stores, Currys PC World says customers do not even have to leave their car, with workers placing the items in the boot for you. Meanwhile, those without a vehicle can select the walk-up option instead.
While the retailer is encouraging customers to choose home delivery if possible, click and collect is still available at Dunelm stores across England, Scotland and Wales. However, this service is temporarily paused in Northern Ireland.
After placing your order online, Dunelm says it can have items ready in three hours, but will hold orders for seven days to help customers manage their journeys better.
When collecting your order, you must wear a face mask unless you are medically exempt.
Matalan is still offering its free click and collect service during the national lockdown, apart from in Northern Ireland.
The retailer says that standard click and collect orders can take up to seven days to arrive in store and that it will send a confirmation email and text to let you know when your items are ready to pick up.
Alternatively, you can still opt for standard home delivery, which costs £3.95 and will take up to seven days.
Next says all its shops in England, Scotland and Wales are now only open for click and collect or returning online orders. Stores in Northern Ireland remain fully closed in line with the latest government update.
The retailer’s click and collect service is free to use and Next says it aims to process your order within one hour.
You will be sent a text to let you know when your order is ready and you can pick it up anytime thereafter. A member of staff will fetch your parcel and stand back so you can collect it safely.
During the national lockdown, click and collect from Smyths Toys stores is available in England, Scotland and Wales.
Once you receive an email confirming your order is ready, you can pick up your purchase from the assigned store.
Orders will be kept on hold for two days, and you can have someone else pick it up on your behalf once they have your permission.
Northern Ireland stores are completely closed with no click and collect service, however home delivery is available.
Standard shipping costs £4.99 for orders under £10, and £2.99 for orders between £10 and £19. If you spend more than £19, home delivery is free.
Click and collect at supermarkets
Aldi’s click and collect service is currently being rolled out across a limited number of stores in the UK. You can check to see if your local supermarket offers the service here.
Those who are able to use click and collect should place a grocery order online and choose a store and time slot. While there is no minimum spend, all slots cost £4.99 to secure.
On the day of pick up, you will receive a confirmation email and/or text reminder. Simply follow the click and collect parking bay instructions and a team member will bring your shopping to you.
Aldi has also partnered with Deliveroo to offer 150 items for home delivery, including British meats, bread, eggs, milk and fresh fruit and veg. Check availability in your area on the Deliveroo website.
Click and collect is available at most Asda stores. Depending on which you choose, the supermarket provides different ways to pick up your groceries.
If you choose to collect your the next day then the service is free, however Asda also gives you the option to collect within four hours for £3, or on the same day, four hours after your order, for £1.
While there is no minimum spend for same-day collection within four hours, the other services require you to spend £25 minimum or face an additional £4 charge.
When your order is ready, you must head to the grocery collection location to pick up your shopping.
All M&S food halls are open as usual during lockdown and the grocer is also continuing to offer customers the opportunity to collect other items. All clothing, beauty and food-to-order purchases can be collected from any M&S stores, however flowers, wine and most furniture cannot and must be home delivered.
It is free to collect in store and any orders can be picked up from 12pm on your chosen day.
Alternatively, M&S groceries are now available to order through Ocado.
Morrisons is continuing to offer click and collect to its customers during lockdown. When shopping online, simply choose the service and select a time slot that suits you.
On the day of your collection, head to the designated collection point at your chosen time and a team member will bring your shopping out to you. For standard click and collect orders, the collection point is located in the store’s car park or, if you have chosen to collect from one of Morrisons stores operating a van collection, the van will be parked near the front of the store.
Prices for the service vary but it is free all day Monday to Thursday, from 12pm to 4pm on Fridays and Sundays, and from 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays.
Click and collect is still available to use at Tesco during the national lockdown.
Simply select your groceries with Tesco Online and choose the click and collect option before checkout. You can choose to have your groceries ready to pick up at a certain time and in some locations you do not even need to go into the store.
Availability is dependent on your local store and you’ll be charged £1.50 to cover the retailer’s “pick and pack” charge.
Sainsbury’s customers can continue to pick up their shopping from the supermarket after placing an order online.
This service is free if you spend over £40, or from £4 if you spend less. There’s also no minimum spend required.
When you arrive at your selected store, the click and collect zone will be clearly signposted. If your vehicle is parked in the customer collection space, a team member will offer to load your shopping into your car. If not, the colleague will hand over the shopping for you to take away.
Click and collect is still open for Waitrose customers to use for orders. The service is free but requires a £40 minimum spend on groceries.
The supermarket says it is trying to ensure all visits are as contactless as possible, with some of its stores offering a car park collection service, while others have team members bring your order out to you.
While John Lewis & Partners has suspended its click and collect service during lockdown, any orders placed on the website can still be picked up from Waitrose stores.
Click and collect at DIY stores
B&Q stores are open for business during the third coronavirus lockdown in England, as the brand is deemed an essential retailer.
However, you can choose to shop through its free click and collect service instead. When buying online, simply choose click and collect and select which store you want to pick up your order from. It will then be ready within one hour, unless the store is closing sooner, in which case it will be the next day.
While Homebase remains open, the retailer is advising customers to shop online in the first instance, where you can access its free click and collect service.
If you choose this option, the team will have your items ready for you to collect within one hour. However, you must wait for a collection text message before travelling to a store.
Screwfix has been allowed to remain open as an essential retailer, however, the firm has urged customers to use its click and collect service, describing it as “a great way to avoid unnecessary journeys”.
Click and collect is available on the same day or within 24 to 48 hours, and you will be sent a text to confirm your order is ready to pick up in-store.
Wickes is offering a click and collect service that allows customers to pick up their orders within one working hour.
When you arrive for your collection, simply follow the signs in the store’s car park and ensure you wear a face covering.
Click and collect orders can be placed and collected seven days a week, within your chosen store’s opening hours.
Want to book a supermarket home delivery slot? Read our guide to the stores that still have availability