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EDITORIAL Carpetright, Barclaycard, and more on the challenges retailers now face, online and offline

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re looking directly at some of the problems that face multichannel retailers as customers take their business further online, in what is already a challenging economy.

We’re reporting on Carpetright as it spells out why it had to close 81 stores through a CVA that it says was its only option as sales fell. No business, it reckons, is immune from the Amazon effect that has driven shoppers to buy online – and it’s going to be increasing its own focus on ecommerce. 

But, as yet, online shopping isn’t perfect either. Barclaycard figures suggest that shoppers may be buying online, but they’re also returning those goods – to the tune of £7bn a year, with the average shopper sending back almost half of the clothes that they buy over the internet. Improved sizing and visualisation could make a real difference, its findings suggest. The latest Adestra research among email marketers suggests that personalisation, relevance and understanding data are top priorities for professionals in this industry, with many feeling they’re not there yet with their efforts. 

Online fraud is also a risk to retailers and other merchants who do business online. ACI Worldwide/Ovum research suggests that 48% of retailers think its worth taking a risk on fraud in order to boost sales. Elsewhere we report on Retail Economics analysis that puts a £200m price tag on the cost of trade tariffs between the US and the EU.

Today’s guest comment comes from Autumn Wiberg of Quiz Clothing, on the role that social media and influencers are now playing within fashion.


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