LONDON — British department store chain John Lewis said this week that it will start charging for its popular click and collect service, whereby customers can buy an item online and arrange to collect it at a nearby branch of John Lewis or Waitrose, the supermarket chain that’s part of the John Lewis Partnership.

While the service was previously entirely free of charge, from July 28 John Lewis will charge a two pound, or around $3, fee for click and collect orders under 30 pounds, or $47, while orders over 30 pounds will remain free to click and collect.

The retailer said that the move reflects “the unprecedented growth of online shopping across the whole retail industry and will ensure that the service is fit for the long term.”

John Lewis launched the service in 2008, and said that today it processes over 6 million click-and-collect orders each year, compared to the 350,000 it processed in its launch year.

Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, commented: “The change we have announced…will mean that the majority of orders will remain free of charge while allowing us to invest further in the expansion of click and collect.”

The retailer noted that during the current year it is investing 80 million pounds, or $125 million, in its supply chain function and 100 million pounds, or $156 million, in information technology, the latter sum five times the figure it invested five years ago.

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