Tesco is launching new click & collect lockers for general merchandise and clothing at two London stores on Monday.

Lockers have been installed at the retailer’s Yiewsley superstore and Orpington Extra sites to make it quicker for shoppers to retrieve their orders than the current process at the customer service desk. Tesco said the current average collection time from the desk was two minutes - the lockers would reduce this to 20 seconds, it claimed.

The lockers would also be more convenient, the retailer added, as shoppers would no longer be restricted to collection times when the customer service desk was staffed - typically 8am to 8pm.

Orpington is open 24 hours and Yiewsley from 7am to 11pm. Shoppers will have 14 days to retrieve their order. There will be 40 lockers at each site, available to use free of charge.

“We’re always trying to make life easier for London customers,” said Andrew Yaxley, MD of Tesco London. “All customers have to do is order online by 3pm, we text a secure code to open their locker and they collect as soon as the next day.”

The lockers will be available only for GM and F+F clothing initially, but a spokeswoman told The Grocer Tesco was looking to develop the facilities to include grocery and was working on the issues of temperature control and age-restricted sales.

At present, Asda is the only supermarket to offer grocery click & collect lockers in store. It has lockers for ambient, chilled and frozen lines at its store in Pudsey. Waitrose is looking to set up temperature-controlled lockers at Gatwick Airport this autumn.

Meanwhile, retailers will no longer need planning permission to install click & collect lockers, under new plans unveiled by high streets minister Penny Mordaunt this week. Under the proposals, part of the government’s plans to rejuvenate town centres, businesses will no longer need permission to build covered collection points or lockers, provided they are within the bounds of the existing site.

Mordaunt said the move would benefit “not just larger retailers but also independent and smaller shops” and would ensure retailers were “fit for the needs of the 21st-century shopper.”

Freeing up retailers to offer click & collect would ensure that the rise of e-commerce “supports,” rather than competes with, high street retailers, she claimed.

Click & collect locker operator InPost hailed the move as an “enlightened and forward-thinking idea,” adding it paved the way for a “more competitive” delivery market.