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EDITORIAL Games Workshop, Wickes and Unilever on ecommerce strategies; Boots and Sainsbury’s on new partnerships

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report on the latest ecommerce and multichannel insights from Games Workshop, Wickes and Unilever – and on how Sainsbury’s and Boots are both launching new partnerships in order to improve their businesses. 

Games Workshop today reports record revenues after a year in which it sold its highest number of Warhammer miniatures to date. Pre-tax profits grew despite pressure on costs from Covid-19,  Brexit and the war in Ukraine.

Brand business Unilever says that 14% of its sales were online in the first half of its financial year, following the shift to ecommerce that has taken place over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.  That represents fast growth as Unilever has seen the proportion of sales that take place online more than double over the last three years.

Wickes says it’s seeing sales soften as shoppers take longer to commit to big ticket projects in an uncertain economy. The digital-first multichannel home improvement retailer says that while it was working through a strong order book for ‘do it for me’ projects in the first half of the year, new orders are now slowing – although cancellations of existing orders remain low. At the same time DIY sales are also lower than last year. 

We report as Sainsbury’s and Boots both launch new partnerships. Sainsbury’s is teaming up with Williams Advanced Engineering to find and invest in sustainable start-ups that can help it reduce its emissions and water use as it targets net zero.

Boots, meanwhile, is working with TCS as it launches a new innovation hub designed to help it take an agile approach to solving problems and developing new technology. The hub will take a test and learn approach finding solutions to problems and getting new concepts to pilot stage within weeks.

In today’s guest comment, Charlie Casey of LoyaltyLion considers how retailers can create a winning returns experience to reinforce customer retention.

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