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EDITORIAL Adidas, Next, Virgin Wines on whether shoppers who bought online in lockdown will continue as stores reopen

Inclusive and accessible: retail websites are improving (Image: shutterstock)

Inclusive and accessible: retail websites are improving (Image: shutterstock)

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting on retailers and brands confident that sales growth they have seen online in lockdown will continue through the coming year. The suggestion is that shopping habits have changed – and that this change is now for good. 

Adidas is reporting strong growth in online sales as shoppers buy direct during lockdowns – and it is forecasting a bumper year ahead, as their customers are able to return to its stores. 

Virgin Wines says it’s seen strong growth as shoppers both bought more wine, and shopped more online in lockdown. But it believes this is part of a longer-term shift towards more online being, and is raising its turnover and profit expectations for the year accordingly. 

Next has seen strong ecommerce growth while its shops were shut in the opening quarter of its financial year. Interestingly, it says shoppers are not buying the same things from it online as they did from its stores. They are moving away from its own-brand clothing, to focus on its homewares, childrenswear – but the fastest growth is on its LIpsy website where shoppers are buying other brands. That’s likely to be down to the online experience the retailer offers – suggesting that today the shopping experience comes high up on customers’ priority list. 

Superdry has worked on strengthening both its online sales and its social following during lockdowns – but over the last year, it has missed out on in-store sales. Now that stores are closed, the question will be whether business returns to stores or stays online. 

As yet, the latest footfall figures suggest that shoppers have returned to stores since non-essential retail reopened – but still fall well short of pre-pandemic levels.

Today’s guest comment comes from Michael Valdsgaard of London Dynamics, who considers how to get the online experience right in luxury retail. 

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