JOHN Lewis is launching a returns service which will allow customers to send back goods from convenience stores, petrol stations and newsagents.

The retailer is partnering with parcel firm CollectPlus to offer the free service across 5000 outlets, many of which are open until late.

In autumn this year John Lewis also intends to trial a click-and-collect service in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the south west of England which will allow customers to pick up online purchases from CollectPlus locations.

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Karen Dracou, from John Lewis, said: "Orders using click and collect have nearly doubled over the past year, and accounted for an impressive 35% of online sales over the Christmas period, so we know that customers are looking for ever-more convenient ways of shopping with us.

"By partnering with CollectPlus, we can extend our existing reach of John Lewis and Waitrose collection points to a wider geographical base, providing an even more convenient way for our customers to shop."

In a weekly trading update John Lewis said sales rose 8.3% from £58.39 million to £63.24m. At the Scottish stores Edinburgh was up 11.2%, Aberdeen 8% and Glasgow 2%.

Waitrose reported sales were up from £105.81m to £116.85m helped by Shrove Tuesday and Valentine's Day.