Close this search box.

EDITORIAL Growth in the darkest times

This week’s ChannelX World event in London was remarkable for many reasons – stellar speaker line up, properly engaged delegates and some cracking debates to name but three – but it also stood out as it showcased just how vibrant and ready for growth SME retailers are.

Despite the wider economic news worsening almost hourly last week, many SMEs are very much focussed on how to grow their businesses – through expanding reach domestically, as well as looking at how to tap into international markets, where the falling value of the pound actually delivers a benefit to sellers.

Many are even looking at how to get back into selling in Europe, with the low pound offsetting the extra costs of tariffs and complex paperwork.

The rise of marketplaces in ecommerce has been extraordinary – as outlined in the most recent RetailX Marketplace Sector report – and retailers of all sizes are turning to them to drive this growth, especially overseas.

Naturally, when you think marketplaces, you think of Amazon, but the sector is in fact starting to generate a whole host of other, more specialised and vertical-specific offerings, where retailers and brands work more co-operatively with the marketplace.

And it is about time too. Black Friday is already looking likely to be down this year, with shoppers spending 15% less than last year. Driven by worries over the cost of living, shopping seems to be less on their radar than ever.

Or does it? Research also suggests that many shoppers – as many as a third of them – are set to spend more on Black Friday to save money down the line. Buy bargains now before prices go even higher in the months ahead.

Marketplaces are also helping sellers tap into the other retail drivers of sustainability and the circular economy. 

eBay, for instance, is working with The British Fashion Council to launch a circular fashion innovator’s fund, that aims to encourage sellers and technology companies to come up with even better ways to aid the circular selling of clothes.

What all this – and all the rest of the Growth 2000 news this week – shows is is that innovation and the drive for growth continues apace in retail, despite the economy. What impressed me about all the retailers at ChannelX World that I spoke to was how up-beat they all wear and how they really do look for the opportunity in even the darkest corners of the downturn. Kudos to them and here’s to more growth to come.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on