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EDITORIAL Asda, WHSmith, Julian Charles and more on their multichannel strategies

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on how retailers and brands are getting closer to their customers, using multichannel to offer those customers both convenience and value.

Asda this week reports its 2021 figures, and shows its online sales were 5% lower than the previous year, but 75% ahead of 2019. The retailer says it is now second in the market for online grocery sales share, and its ambition now is to gain second place in the overall grocery market – by overtaking close rival Sainsbury’s.

Asda is following a strategy of offering convenience to shoppers, wherever they buy. That means opening more convenience stores at petrol stations, working with partners in stores while introducing a new Just Essentials range. But it is also testing a new for fast grocery deliveries, while see in-store personal shoppers in Leeds liaising with the end customer from the aisle.

We’re reporting on another step forward for fast deliveries, as WHSmith trials fast delivery of work-from-home essentials via Deliveroo. Both partners will be looking to see if there is the same appetite to get printer ink or a cable in as little as 20 minutes as there is for fast grocery deliveries.

Mulberry reports today that the “robust” sales it saw in the first half of the year have continued into the second half. It’s now predicting that sales and profits will both be “moderately” ahead of expectations as it continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Two years on from the first Covid-19 lockdown, shoppers are still continuing the steady trend of returning in-store to buy. Footfall across UK locations was 7.8% higher last week than the previous week, 15.7% lower than in the same week in 2019 and 116% up on the same time last year, in the third UK lockdown.

And we report as Julian Charles unveils plans to grow its store numbers by 30 to more than 100 over the next 18 months as it takes its multichannel strategy forward.

In today’s guest comment, Martim Avillez Oliveira of ESW considers the hidden opportunity in returns.

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