Editor's Comment

Lovehoney to New Look: approaches to selling in challenging times

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on a day of ups and downs. For while New Look has reported falling sales and declared a back to basics approach to doing business, and the BRC says that retail sales fell in October, while online sales grew at their slowest rate since 2012, Lovehoney has unveiled fast growth in profits and Vodafone has opened up its IoT network to consumers.

Each has its own challenges to face at a time when, the BRC figures suggest, consumers are once more cautious about spending. For its part, New Look says it has to reconnect with its core customer, while Lovehoney’s success seems to come in spotting opportunities in a niche category. Against a backdrop of falling sales, those opportunities will be ever harder to find but ever more important to do so. Opportunities may lie in emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things or, as discussed in today’s guest comment from Uwe Hennig of Detego, in AI. Vodafone’s move today opens up IoT technology to greater adoption by consumers. Those who want to use the technology will now be able to do so very easily. Whether consumers will be willing to add another cost to their outgoings in order to track their pets or their cars remains to be seen in the short term. In the long term, it seems very likely that they will and it’s on that long term that operators such as Vodafone are rightly focusing. The future of retail seems inevitably to lie in a more connected world, where the IoT and AI will be key to delivering the convenience that customers now seek. Looking at what will work in the long-term, rather than taking short-term decisions in the face of market uncertainty, must be the route to long-term success.

We have our latest update on Peak 2017 – with Black Friday already underway at Wiggle – and report as Scotts of Stow launches a new website.

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