Convenience stores are being used more as an alternative to the Post Office network, new research reveals.

In PayPoint’s interim management statement, it was revealed that transactions through the Collect+ parcel delivery network had more than trebled in the space of a year. In the three months to December 25, 2011, transactions grew to 1.2 million compared with the 400,000 for the same period the previous year. Transactions hit a weekly peak of 125,000 in the run-up to Christmas.

PayPoint chief executive Dominic Taylor said the service was tailored for online shoppers. “Collect+ addresses the fundamental problem that many people have when buying online, that they aren’t at home when the goods are delivered,” he said. “Consequently, those retailers offering Collect+ are benefiting from the huge growth in online retailing by giving these customers a very convenient way to take delivery of their purchases.”

He added that the scheme had attracted additional customers to stores. “Our research shows that Collect+ is used by a wide range of people, many of whom are not traditional PayPoint customers, or have not used their local shop before, but have started shopping there as a result.”

Jahan Tayyab of Menteith Mini Market in Perthshire, said Collect+ “allows the store to offer the local community a parcel service that meets the needs of their busy lives”. He added that it had attracted more customers into the store since it was introduced in his store last year.

PayPoint’s interim statement also revealed that core transactions increased by 13% compared with the previous year and that the introduction of the Health Lottery had helped offset the decline in mobile phone top-ups.