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EDITORIAL How – and why – peak online spending has grown in 2020

Shoppers headed in store to ensure they got their gifts before Christmas. Image: Adobe Stock

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we report as the end of the Brexit transition period gets ever closer. HMRC is warning traders to ensure they are ready for changes in the way exporting and importing to and from the EU works – and to delay sending out consignments if they are not confident they are ready. The warning comes as we’re seeing pictures of lorries queueing to take goods across the channel before the Brexit deadline. 

Brexit uncertainty and the explosion in ecommerce during the Covid-19 pandemic mean that demand for logistics space reached record levels this year, led by online retailers including Amazon, according to analysis by Cushman & Wakefield. 

The extent to which online demand has grown this year is also reflected in the latest ONS Retail Sales report for November. That shows ecommerce sales up by almost 75% in a peak trading November that coincided with lockdown in many parts of the UK – with in-store sales lower in most categories.  We report on how retailers in different categories traded across channels last month. That chimes with Watches of Switzerland’s news this week that its online sales were up by more than 65% in the first half of its financial year, while many of its stores were closed or trading for fewer hours than normal. The retailer reports on its online tactics as it looked to engage with customers in new ways. 

John Lewis today says it has trialled mass testing in its Milton Keynes distribution centre – and is now rolling it out to 40 sites.

Today’s guest comment comes from Ken Serdons of Mollie, who considers how Covid has changed the way shoppers pay this Christmas.

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