Tesco, Waitrose and automated parcel locker specialist InPost will follow Asda in opening grocery online collection points at London Underground stations.
Tesco and Waitrose will install click-and-collect facilities at up to six stations each while Asda is in talks to expand its operations beyond the six stations it introduced the service at in November.
InPost, which provides parcel delivery services for multiple retailers, will install lockers at three stations on the tube network.
Transport for London (TfL) said the rise in the use of smartphones and the introduction of wi-fi at more than 120 London Underground stations meant customers could shop while travelling and then pick up their order.
TfL will use the revenue generated to invest back into the 151-year-old tube network. The operator is looking to fill space in its stations as it reduces the number of ticket halls across the network as people opt to use the automated machines or buy online.
TfL said it is working with local, national and international retailers about working together to provide a range of services and it is understood it is in talks with Amazon.
Tesco managing director for London Andrew Yaxley said: “Our customers really enjoy the convenience of click-and-collect because it makes shopping so much easier. 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.”
The major grocers are aiming to access customers who are increasingly looking to pick up food on the move. Asda has expanded its collection points to business parks and transport hubs while, in October, Tesco began offering a click-and-collect service outside of its stores for the first time at locations such as schools, libraries and sports centres.
Waitrose ecommerce director Robin Phillips said: “Giving our customers as many ways as possible to buy and collect their groceries on the move is key to building on the phenomenal growth seen at Waitrose.com.
“Collection lockers will unlock the potential to reach customers in locations where we don’t have a shop and which are very convenient, such as on the way home from work or the school run. More and more people are adding an online shopping mission to their way of buying from Waitrose and we will continue to invest in making sure that we give them what they want, when they want it.”