Independent retailers operating a parcel service via DHL are likely to see usage impacted, following the imminent roll-out of hundreds of outdoor locker stations across the UK, offering shoppers more convenient delivery.

This week, the firm announced a partnership with French tech giant Quadient, confirming the deployment of 500 locker stations set to be installed across the UK by the end of the year, giving shoppers more control over how they receive their parcels. DHL also said it has plans for a further 5,000 in the coming years, most of which will be accessible 24 hours a day.

When recipients receive a notification alerting them that their parcel is in the DHL network, they will soon have the option to select a convenient locker station via the DHL Parcel UK app or website. Even when the item is out for delivery, recipients can divert their delivery to a smart locker, or DHL ServicePoint, giving them ultimate control and flexibility.

When the parcel has been delivered, the recipient will then receive confirmation along with a one-time PIN and QR code, either of which can be used to access the correct locker door.

DHL’s CEO, Peter Fuller said: “Over the last two years, we’ve rapidly expanded and enhanced our offering for retail customers experiencing ecommerce growth as well as for consumers with new delivery, send and returns options. Smart Lockers will enhance our service even further.

“They’re a safe, secure and accessible way for people to receive their parcels at a time and location that suits their lifestyles.”

When asked to comment on how existing DHL partnered stores are likely to be impacted, and whether this will cause a drop in footfall, a spokesperson responded: “Lockers will give consumers more choice and flexibility, particularly as an alternative to home deliveries. They will supplement our extensive and valuable ServicePoint network.”

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