A service that allows customers to return parcels to c-stores instead of mailing them back to the sender is poised to launch nationwide this year.

Kiala, a European parcel pick-up and drop-off distribution service, has been running a six-month pilot with 130 c-stores, newsagents and forecourts in Preston, Liverpool and Manchester since January.

The service enables customers to return unwanted items to fashion retailer Next Directory .

The results were "very encouraging" and a nationwide roll-out was under consideration, said Steve Bolton, acting UK country manager for Kiala. The company was also talking to other retailers about joining the service, and hoped to expand the scheme to include parcel collections, Bolton added.

"We have found that stores owned by independents work best for us because they are motivated to drive new customers into their stores and differentiate their business," he said.