Parcel collection and despatch service Collect+ is expecting to attract new customers to participating local stores after clinching a deal with department store giant John Lewis.

John Lewis’s online service sends out millions of clothes, shoes and fashion accessories parcels every year, of which tens of thousands are returned.

Initially restricted to a free returns service, attracting the standard 35p commission for Collect+ agents, the agreement is expected to deliver footfall from the store group’s traditionally upscale shoppers.

From early autumn 2013, John Lewis will also trial a ‘Click&Collect+’ service from Collect+ in Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of South-West England. This will give customers the ability to pick up their John Lewis online purchases from their local participating store.

Karen Dracou, head of omnichannel development at John Lewis, said: “Orders using Click & Collect have nearly doubled over the past year, and accounted for an impressive 35% of online sales over the Christmas period, so we know that customers are looking for ever-more convenient ways of shopping with us.”

Jamil Jamil, manager of Collect+ agent Dykes Lane News in Sheffield said: “I welcome this returns service for John Lewis. “It sounds as if it will bring in new shoppers, and a good number of Collect+ customers buy something while they are here as well.”

And NFRN national president Alan Smith said: “The NFRN welcomes in principle this new service, although we are keen to talk to Collect+,about security arrangements and margins.”

Catherine Woolfe, marketing director, Collect+, said: “Local businesses can reap the benefits of providing our innovative service, with this deal attracting shoppers that may be new to their store and offering them the opportunity to convert them into loyal customers.”

New customers bring additional annual revenue of £1,300 for the average Collect+ store, according to the company’s research.