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EDITORIAL Boohoo and Games Workshop upbeat, while footfall and DFS sales fall back

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as Boohoo reports record pre-Christmas trading following its acquisition of retail brands including Karen Millen and Coast. 

Games Workshop is also reporting strong figures as it engages with customers across channels. It’s opening new shops and investing online, while its trade customers are buying more to sell both in their own stores and on their own websites. 

But while online retailer Boohoo, which seems to be flourishing in a discount-driven retail environment, and specialist gaming company Games Workshop are both enjoying a lift in sales, those traders that depend more closely on retail footfall are suffering. The latest footfall figures show a dip in in-store visitors ahead of Christmas, while retailers including Mothercare and Debenhams are now shutting stores in line with decisions taken in 2019. DFS is reporting a dip in first-half sales and says its trading was affected by continued political and economic uncertainty. However, it’s now hoping for an improvement as consumers seem more willing to spend, and as it continues to develop a customer journey that starts online and progresses in-store. Its challenge lies both in the need to contend with consumer uncertainty, and to lead shoppers along a clear path from online research through to making a final decision in-store. 

The customer experience – including that all-important customer journey – is the focus for the latest in our series of predictions pieces. Meanwhile, a new report suggests that store automation could help to save the high street. Capgemini’s report suggests that solutions such as facial recognition and self-checkout can help to make stores easier to navigate  – and quotes Coop Norway on how automation helped it to open unstaffed stores to customers who wanted to buy out of hours. 

In today’s guest comment, Emma Yates of Irwin Mitchell offers some useful advice on brand reputation management in the age of the internet.

Image: Fotolia

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