London’s Underground stations as shopping centres? It’s looking that way as some of our biggest retailers go down the tube with big ‘click and collect’ ambitions.
The high street is dead! Long live the, er, tube? It seems London simply isn’t sufficiently shopping-orientated at the moment, so Transport for London has stepped in with plans to turn bits of the Underground into mini retail hubs. Last week Asda announced an expansion of its ‘click and collect’ service to six Underground stations, so you’ll be able to do your shopping in your lunch break and pick it up from a tube station on your way home from work. Or at least you will if you live near any of the trial batch of stations: East Finchley, Harrow & Wealdstone, High Barnet, Highgate, Stanmore and Epping. It certainly beats fighting for the last bag of pre-packaged salad at your local express supermarket.
Plus, it turns out Amazon is keen to spare customers the hassle of hoofing it to a Parcelforce depot in Plaistow on account of a ‘sorry you were out’ card. Just one day after TfL proposed the closure of every ticket office, the Financial Times reported that the online retailer is in talks to turn them into collection points, after a trial run of an ‘Amazon Locker’ in Hammersmith station that allows customers to pick up their orders.
What next? Trolleys dispensing booze on the new 24-hour Underground trains? Vending machines offering deodorants to stinky commuters? Opening a pet shop with all the mice they can catch off the tracks? The retail world is TfL’s Oyster. Maybe a January sale on fares? Now, come on. Some things aren’t joking matters…
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Oh, and in less serious tube news:
➪ Hidden penises on the tube map