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EDITORIAL Games Workshop, Toolstation, Amazon and Card Factory: retailers emerging strongly from Covid-19

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on stories of retail resilience as retailers from Games Workshop to Toolstation appear to be emerging stronger than ever from the Covid-19 lockdown.

This is despite very different sets of Covid circumstances. Toolstation, considered an essential retailer, was able to trade throughout lockdown, and it quickly set up click and collect services that enabled it to do so. Games Workshop, meanwhile, was considered far from essential – and it shut down global operations from its online sales through to its stores while it worked out how its business could trade safely. Nonetheless, both are now reporting strong sales growth and Games Workshop has reported its best results ever in a year that included that shutdown. Both are examples of the kind of retail resilience that is now much needed amid huge changes in the retail industry. Shoppers are taking their business further online and multichannel retailers such as Games Workshop and Toolstation must react in an agile way in order to meet new patterns of demand.

We have other examples of resilience as well. Amazon is offering its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery services to Prime members at no additional cost, as it adapts to the massive expansion of the online grocery delivery service prompted by lockdown.

Card Factory is seeing its store sales recover faster than it had expected from lockdown. While its customers continue to buy online, it’s clear they also expect to buy from its more than 1,000 shops – and the retailer plans to expand store numbers in due course.

Boohoo is taking firm action to deal with reports that linked its supply chain with a surge in Covid-19 infections in Leicester. Today it issued details of the review into its supply chain, a review that is set to be completed quickly, by the end of August. 

Today we also report as the government considers an online shopping tax – one of the options in a new review of the business rates system. 

Meanwhile, the latest footfall figures from Springboard suggest that while visitor numbers dipped in England over the weekend, that may be a result of heavy rain rather than the new requirements for shoppers to wear a face mask in English shops. 

In today’s guest comment Leyton Ede of Live Agency considers how retailers can make the most of customer data to improve brand retention

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