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EDITORIAL From Debenhams and Superdry to Domino’s Pizza: what the shift online means for different kinds of retail businesses

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n today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on how retailers are responding to the continued shift online. BRC figures out today show that 42% of retail sales took place online in July, even though shops started to reopen from Covid-19 lockdowns in June. Meanwhile, footfall remains a third down on last year. It’s not so much that shoppers have stopped spending – it’s more that how and where they spend has changed enormously and retailers must react to that in order to survive.

It’s against this background that Debenhams today confirmed 2,500 job cuts. It’s understood that many of those leaving the business were based in store – where trade has not recovered from the Covid-19 lockdown, but it also seems that its distribution centres will be affected as well.

Superdry has also seen its sales hit as a result of store closures, although the fashion retailer says its business has fared better than expected. Its online sales rose by 93% but that did not make up for sales lost in shops that had to close during lockdown. 

Elsewhere, Domino’s Pizza saw an acceleration in its shift online. The pizza delivery company saw online sales rise by 15% and app sales by 19%, with 93% of pizza sales made online during the first half of its financial year. 

For those thinking about how they adapt to the way shoppers now want to buy, we report on the latest research from Periscope by McKinsey, which looks at how customer expectations are changing in a digital post-pandemic world. 

In today’s guest comment Tommy Kelly of eShopWorld suggests that a structural shift in retail had already been evident but the pivot to ecommerce has been accelerated by Covid.

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