A MASSIVE shift in shopping habits has led to Tesco applying to more than double its ‘click and collect’ area at one of its Bolton stores.

The supermarket giant says a change in the ways its customers shop since the start of the pandemic has led them needing to reconfigure their store at Mansell Way, Horwich, close to the Middlebrook retail park and next to Bolton Wanderers’ stadium.

Planning documents submitted this week to Bolton Council from Tesco include a proposal to increase internal warehouse storage, reconfigure its customer click and collect home grocery offer and improve an access road.

In a covering letter, sent with the plans, Tesco architecture planning manager Andy Horwood explained the store’s reasons for requesting the changes.

He said: “Given the changes this year has seen as a result of the pandemic, we have seen a huge growth in online and click and collect deliveries, that we continue to best support and accommodate across the UK in customers feeling safe and convenient when collecting their goods.

“At the Horwich site, we require additional customer click and collect grocery bays, taking it from four bays to a total of nine, an increase of five bays, all under a canopy.

“This is an existing and well used offer by local customers, this proposal enables increased capacity in collections, therefore reducing the waiting times and opening up more opportunities for customers to use this service.”

Mr Horwood said the plans would lead to a small reduction in parking capacity at the store.

He said: “To accommodate the proposal there is a net reduction of six parking spaces.

“The store is still left with more than adequate parking at 782 spaces.

“The proposal will be seen to cut down queuing, which will open up more available parking in that area, as well as serving more customers from this facility without the need for them to park and enter the store.”

As well as Bolton Wanderers, the adjacent De Vere Whites Hotel on De Havilland Way will also be consulted about the changes as near neighbours.

Planners in Bolton will decide on the plans at a date yet to be decided.