Stressed-out Eastern suburbs commuters can now bypass clogged supermarket aisles and pick up their groceries at a train station on the way home.
Sydney Trains and Woolworths began a ‘click and collect’ trial today (Wednesday) to place shopping ordered by customers online into specially designed lockers at Bondi Junction station.
The 12-month trial, which Woolworths won the competitive tender for, may then be rolled out to other train stations and include other supermarket chains.
The rules are: minimum orders must cost $30 and there is no maximum order. Large items like a broom or an ironing board, that won't fit into a locker, can't be ordered.
Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said the scheme would save people time after their commute home.
“Everyone has time pressures, so we thought why not help train customers save time and be able to pick up their groceries at the station on the way home,” Mr Constance said.
“We’re trying to get customers home quicker and avoid the mad afternoon dash to the shops. Customers will be able to pick up a range of products from fresh food to frozen, even last minute ingredients for dinner.”
Shoppers can order their shopping online from Woolworths on their mobile before 11am and pick it up in the afternoon, as they journey home.
“Bondi Junction is one of our busiest suburban stations, with around 40,000 customer movements each day,” he said. “It’s also a busy bus interchange, so seemed like the logical choice to see if our customers like the idea.
“I am determined to tap into new technology that will improve the transport experience for our customers. This is a great example of the new initiatives customers can expect to see more of.”
A Woolworth’s spokesperson said the locker-based click and collect scheme was a free service and the price for the products was the same as it was instore.
To keep food fresh, there are refrigerated lockers for items that need to be chilled and freezer lockers for frozen items.
“Woolworths and Sydney Trains are working together to identify other sites to be included in the trial … these will include 24-hour lockers that can be accessed via a code,” the spokesperson said.
Kate Langford, Woolworths General Manager Digital Retail said: “Woolworths is always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our customers and make their shopping easier and more convenient.
“Click & Collect is already popular in our stores and at our drive through locations. Now our customers will be able to collect their groceries at the station on their way home which is great for commuters," Mrs Langford said.
Countries like the UK have been running similar schemes for several years, including in London Underground station car parks and suburban park and ride facilities. UK commuters can also arrange to have other online purchases, such as clothes and shoes, delivered to train stations.
The Sydney trial certainly opens up new parcel delivery possibilities for Australia Post, as well as for Sydney Trains and commuters.
Woolworths struck a deal with eBay early last year that allowed people to pick up their eBay purchases in some Woolworths and Big W stores.