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EDITORIAL From Waitrose to Cath Kidston on how the way they sell has changed this year

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re taking stock of how the way we buy has changed over the last year – and how retailers are responding. 

Waitrose says, in a new report, that the rise in online grocery sales seen over the last year as more shoppers turned to home delivery as a result of Covid-19 is now set to continue in the future. The retailer has expanded its delivery capabilities almost fourfold during the year, working with alternative providers as well as directing shops through its own fleet.  

Cath Kidston has seen its entire business model disrupted following its administration earlier in the year. But it is now emerging with a digital strategy that includes a single flagship store, on London’s Piccadilly, while it expects 85% of its sales to be made online in the future. The store, it says, reflects its insights into what customers are buying. 

Joules is marking Small Business Saturday tomorrow – a day on which, research suggests, shoppers are likely to spend more than £6bn at a time of newfound appreciation of local, independent retailers.

And a range of retailers are experiencing peak trading very differently this year. UK Flooring Direct saw its biggest ever sales day on Black Friday – a date on which, say IMRG figure, sales were more than 30% up on the same time last year. That’s probably thanks to lockdown – Primark is among the retailers that are now benefiting from a return in-store following the end of the latest lockdown in England.

Finally, as supermarkets and other essential retailers return billions in unneeded business rates payments, we cover suggestions that small and non-essential retailers should now see that money sent in their direction. We’ll return to this when any announcement is made. 

In today’s guest comment, Augustin Prot of Weglot asks how retailers can maximise cross-border ecommerce this Christmas.

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