Marks & Spencer has launched a free next day collection service in stores as it bolsters its multichannel offer.

The retailer will allow shoppers to collect purchases ordered online by midday to be collected after 12pm the next day.

Marks & Spencer said that customers can order by phone, in store, online or through its mobile website, and the service is available in about 450 stores including someSimply Food shops.

Online order fulfilment is increasingly becoming a key battleground in the fight to win shopper spend and M&S is stepping up its multichannel credentials under executive director for multichannel e-commerce Laura Wade-Gery.

M&S last month said that it will create 1,000 new jobs at its new online fulfilment in Castle Donington, East Midlands which opens in early 2013.

An M&S spokeswoman said: “In store collection is proving increasingly popular with time pressed customers, with over 40% of M&S online orders now collected in store.”

  • Royal Mail said today it is to create 1,000 jobs at the Post Office over the next four years as part of a £75m investment programme for its parcels business following the increasing popularity of online shopping. It will open a new parcel processing centre in Chorley in Autumn 2013. Royal Mail has cut around 65,000 jobs since 2002 as it attempts to face the challenges of the internet.