Asda has taken the “game-changing” step of offering its store click-and-collect service to other online retailers.

The grocery retailer, part of US retail giant Walmart, has invested in IT and other systems to enable it to push all its clothing click-and-collect store deliveries through its own distribution network. It is now looking to recoup some of this money by offering the service to third party retailers.

Announcing the move at the IGD Supply Chain Summit in London last week, Asda Logistics Services vice president Ian Stansfield, said: “This is a top-end service for the most competitive price. We are leveraging our big store network because it is in decline. We will also benefit from extra footfall as another retailer’s customers are coming into our store to collect their parcel.”

The service, branded ToYou, will offer a 9pm order cut off for next-day collection and full track and trace visibility of the item’s progress through Asda’s distribution system to one of its 614 stores. Asda predicts that it could provide the supermarket with up to 40 million extra visits a year by 2019.

Stansfield said: “Demand for online shopping is increasing; with it grows the appetite from online retailers to have physical footprints their customers can access. Not only are we providing online retailers with a presence on the high street, we’re also bridging a gap for customers who want to collect or return their online orders while carrying out their weekly shop.

“This is an industry first and truly game-changing.”

The first customer to sign up to the service is online fashion retailer

Collect from store now counts for more than 10% of Asda’s online orders and two thirds of its throughput is now click and collect. The company previously used parcels carriers to make these deliveries to store as well as to customers’ homes but invested in the technology to move that volume through its own distribution network.

“It is half the cost and offers delivery seven days a week, with a 9pm cut off for next-day delivery,” said Stansfield. “There are lots of opportunities to offer this service to external clients.”