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EDITORIAL From Zalando to In The Style: retail strategies evolving as online sales continue to fall

How retailers are navigating a challenging market. Image: Shutterstock

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on the latest  retail sales figures. Those from the BRC/KPMG suggest that sales grew behind inflation across sales channels in February, while online sales dipped. The IMRG, meanwhile, sees a relatively small falls in February come on top of larger falls both earlier this year and a year earlier. The trend, it seems, is towards shoppers buying fewer products as inflation rises, and buying less of what they do buy online. As always, we note that shoppers are still spending significantly more online than they did before the pandemic.

Online retailer Zalando points out, however, that the post-pandemic reversal of the Covid-19 drive towards online spending has been larger than expected, both in the UK and in Europe, as it reports slowing sales and a fall in profits. 

That’s also seen in the fate of In The Style, which today announces its proposed £1.2m sale, subject to shareholder approval – a proposal which is very much put forward as a direct alternative to administration. 

So what are retailers to do in the face of falling online sales? For Zalando, the answer is to continue to invest – in the customer, although while also cutting jobs. It says that it’s positioning itself for growth in the long-term, despite the short-term reversal of pandemic-driven expansion. 

Today we also report as Ikea retailer the Ingka Group says it’s reached gender parity in its 31 markets. The news comes ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow. 

In today’s guest comment, Judy Moon of Digimarc says decisive action must be taken to protect shoppers from fake merchandise.

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