LONDON Jan 29 Supermarket chains Tesco and Waitrose are to begin "click and collect" services across the London Underground network after signing a deal with the city's transport authority.
The partnership with Transport for London (TfL), which provides for an average 11 million journeys each day, will enable commuters to pick up their online purchases from underground stations.
Tesco and Waitrose will trial the scheme in six locations initially. Tesco said its delivery vans will be located in station car parks from next month and customers will be able to collect their orders from the vans.
Waitrose said it is looking to install lockers inside stations, and will disclose locations once details are finalised.
The transport authority said it had been looking for opportunities to work with local, national and international retailers to provide a range of services.
"There is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with commercial partners to deliver products and services that our customers want, and as a result also grow revenues that we then reinvest in improving the transport network," said Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground.
The move follows the Mayor of London Boris Johnson's decision to close 270 ticket offices, which has triggered the biggest industrial action since 2010, with strikes planned over the next two weeks.
TfL has said the partnership forms part of its wider commercial strategy to help drive its income higher over the coming years to 3.5 billion pounds ($5.79 billion).
"The additional TfL pick-up locations will give even greater flexibility to our customers because they will have more options to collect their shopping at a time and location that's most convenient to them," said Andrew Yaxley, Tesco Managing Director for London in a statement.
TfL has also been in talks with In Post to provide lockers