Primark saw its website crash this morning (14 November) after launching, with the trial taking place across stores in the northwest of England, Yorkshire and North Wales. The new service allows customers to shop online from an extensive range of kids’ products across clothing and nursery, before collecting in their nominated store on their chosen day.

Primark says that customers can shop up to 2,000 items across baby, kids, and decorative nursery products and toys, with hundreds of new items and ranges exclusive to Click + Collect. This includes essentials such as multipacks of bestselling products, as well as new items from Primark’s licence partners including Disney and larger nursery decor and toys.

Paul Marchant, Primark chief executive, said: “It’s a very proud moment to see Click + Collect go live.  We’re big fans of the high street and we believe passionately that a thriving local shopping area benefits everyone in the community. Our approach to online is all about supporting and complementing our stores, which will always be at the heart of our business.

“The trial offers the convenience of browsing and shopping from the comfort of your home, while also providing customers living near one our smaller stores, like Wallasey, as big a range as on offer in a much larger store like Liverpool. Everyone, no matter their local store, will get access to lots of exclusive new products.”

Locations taking part in the trial include Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Blackburn, Carlisle and Wrexham. As well as the exclusive ranges, customers of the smaller stores in the trial will benefit from access to ranges normally only found in larger flagship stores and customers will have, on average, access to twice as many options than today, Primark said.

After browsing online and adding items to a virtual shopping basket, customers can choose a day to collect, up to seven days ahead, from their chosen store. Orders will be available for collection from two days after they have been placed with a GBP15 minimum order value and no delivery charge. Customers will be able to collect their order from a dedicated Click + Collect desk and pay for any other items they’ve picked up in store.

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The trial is also looking to minimise excess packaging on the product, using paper wrap bands wherever possible. All orders will be delivered to store in brown paper packaging or cardboard boxes sealed with paper tape (and paper void fillers if required).

The launch of the Click + Collect trial is the latest new service to join the Primark line-up, as it continues to invest in the instore experience by introducing new partnerships and services in its stores.

In August, Primark unveiled a new collaboration with the Vintage Wholesale Company. ‘WornWell’, a vintage clothing concession, has initially launched in three of Primark’s stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Oxford Street East, London.

Earlier this year, Primark also enabled customers to use a new stock-checker tool on its website to check availability before heading into store.

Melissa Minkow, director of Retail Strategy at CI&T, said of the launch: “Primark offering online ordering is massive, as the retailer had maintained for a while that it would be strictly brick-and-mortar. Considering how price-sensitive consumers have been forced to become, an affordable retailer like Primark increasing its accessibility is a helpful move to shoppers.

“Further, Primark stores can be challenging to comprehensively shop on a time crunch, especially when crowded, so the online channel will create efficiency for many. While the retailer will have to assume more returns, this decision is absolutely the right one in sustaining Primark’s positioning as a modern brand. If Primark didn’t innovate to match shoppers’ buying behaviours, the brand would risk obsolescence.”

Earlier this month, Associated British Foods-owned Primark said it would stall prices beyond the spring/summer period next year in a bid to support its core proposition of everyday affordability and price leadership.