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EDITORIAL Hotel Chocolat and ScS on online growth and sustainability

Image courtesy of Hotel Chocolat

Image courtesy of Hotel Chocolat

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as retailers from very different categories  show how they’ve sold online in a year marked by Covid-19 lockdowns and disruption. 

Both Hotel Chocolat and ScS say they’ve seen online sales grow strongly enough over the last year, to the point that they have compensated for the disruption that the pandemic has brought. Both are now investing in their online experience for shoppers who continue to want to buy through ecommerce.

Ecommerce has grown by 146% at ScS, where the retailer’s investment in digital has helped it to keep sales relatively stable, despite store closures during lockdown. Indeed, the retailer says that the January UK lockdown helped it to gain useful insights into the way its customers want to use its website. 

Hotel Chocolat has seen its digital sales rise fast enough to offset the disruption it has seen from Covid-19. It says its stores were closed or disrupted for around six months of its latest financial year, but that its shift to digital-first selling helped it to mitigate that fact. Some 70% of its sales were digital, through subscriptions or through third party retailers during the year – and that’s a pattern that looks set to continue. 

Asos says it’s one of the first fashion retailers to report its ethnic pay gap. It’s released figures showing the progress it’s made in this area, although it says its gender pay gap continues to widen. The pureplay retailer has outlined its plans to combat the issue.

We report on two acquisitions. CD&R made the winning bid for Morrisons in an auction this weekend – subject to shareholder approval. Multichannel looks set to be a priority for the supermarket’s new owner. 

And multichannel retailer French Connection looks set to have a new owner, after several years of uncertainty. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Molly Schonthal of the Digital Shelf Institute Executive Forum and Salsify, who offers four best practices for a new consumer climate. 

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