eBay and Argos are offering a joint click and collect service, enabling shoppers to purchase products from selected eBay merchants and pick them up at Argos stores throughout the UK.

At least 50 eBay merchants will participate in the trial, enabling a wide range of merchandise to be available for collection by customers from around 150 Argos stores in primary locations nationally.

The partnership is bad news for courier firms that serve eBay merchants and for Royal Mail which has put up delivery charges for parcels. Argos expects to benefit from the extra footfall coming into its stores to pick up parcels, through extra sales.

According to the Econsultancy Online Shopping Survey, 40% of UK shoppers used some form of click-and-collect service over the Christmas 2012 period. Argos says a third of its sales are currently made through its own click and collect offering.

Devin Wenig, president for eBay marketplaces, said: "The distinction between offline and online shopping continues to blur. Traditional retail isn’t going away, it is transforming.

"Smart retailers are innovating, re-imagining the store and what it means to shop. This pilot takes us one step nearer to our goal of offering customers an inspired and seamless shopping experience."

John Walden, managing director at Argos, said: "With the continuing growth of online shopping customers increasingly expect faster, cheaper and more convenient fulfilment of their orders."