Collect+ is offering retailers the opportunity to provide a parcel delivery service that it hopes will compete with the Post Office.

Collect+’s sending service is available in 3,500 stores throughout the PayPoint network and consumers will be able to send parcels directly from their local store to any UK address.

The service will be cheaper than the Post Office, with parcels up to five kilos in weight costing £4.99 and those between five and ten kilos in weight costing £6.99. This is compared with £9.58 to send a ‘standard parcel’ of below six kilos or £12.61 for parcels below ten kilos at the Post Office for a comparable three-day delivery service.

Collect+ CEO Mark Lewis hoped the service will capitalise on the limitations of the Post Office network. “Customers tell us that it is inconvenient to drop their parcels off during the working day and that they want a more convenient option,” he said. “Two-fifths of those that use our service to return goods to our retail partners do so outside normal hours or at weekends. This launch extends that convenience to personal deliveries, allowing us to offer a simple parcel send alternative matched to modern lifestyles.”

Dominic Taylor, CEO of Paypoint, said that Collect+ is yet another service that convenience stores can offer communities. “Neighbourhood convenience stores are an integral part of local communities but they are facing unprecedented pressures, so the ability to offer a range of in-store services helps to differentiate these shops and gives them a competitive edge,” he said.

In response to the Collect+ expansion, a Royal Mail spokesman said: “Royal Mail, through its unrivalled UK network of 1,400 delivery offices and around 12,000 Post Office branches, provides a range of ways its customers can send and receive items.

“As well as extending the opening hours of around 600 of our busiest delivery offices until 8pm on a Wednesday, Royal Mail has launched a trial of evening deliveries in the M25 area to give consumers even greater choice over the delivery of their items.”