Sports Direct is charging for click-and-collect but will give customers who use the service a money-off voucher to avoid making a loss.

Sports Direct will give customers who use its click and collect service a £5 voucher

Customers who come into store to collect their click-and-collect orders will be handed a £5-off voucher that does not require a minimum spend. The voucher acts as a gift card, meaning customers can spend smaller denominations until they have spent the total amount.

The sportswear brand has launched click-and-collect across all of its 400 stores after a trial at the end of last year proved there was customer demand for the service.

Sports Direct is charging customers for the service as part of its strategy of “building a sustainable and profitable online business”.

The vouchers offered as part of the initiative will be redeemable at any time across the next 13 months.

Sports Direct is committed to ensuring its online business remains profitable despite being critiqued by industry analysts for treating ecommerce as a cost centre.  

Most retailers do not charge for their click-and-collect services but Sports Direct is by no means the first retailer to charge customers for click and collect.

Tesco adds a charge of £4 to customers that spend less than £25, while Boots charges customers that spend less than £20.

Sports Direct revealed the charges as it emerged that the sportswear retailer pays an average of just £82 a year into staff pensions.

The contribution from Mike Ashley’s sportswear retailer is the third lowest in the FTSE 100 behind G4S and Antofagasta, the mining group, which paid just £16 into each employee’s scheme, according to research from Banc De Binary.

This compares to an average of £2,920 per employee for the FTSE 100 as a whole.

Sports Direct employs more than 15,000 people in the UK but the majority of those are on controversial zero-hours contracts, which means they are exempt from pensions auto-enrolment.