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EDITORIAL How Arcadia Group and other retailers are encouraging shoppers to buy at a time of uncertainty

Amid this week’s headlines there are suggestions that shoppers are holding back from spending in an uncertain climate, and as they hold out for peak trading.
The date that all are waiting for is Black Friday (November 23), although some retailers are already promoting their Black Friday deals now. Certainly as recently as October it seemed that shoppers were holding back from buying in-store, according to BRC/Springboard research out this week that suggested a 2% drop in footfall for the month. But last Sunday marked Singles Day where we had perhaps encouraging evidence that peak trading can bring higher levels of spending. Turnover from this year’s Singles Day events, as yet predominantly a Chinese event, rose by more than a quarter at leading traders Alibaba Group and
Our regular look at peak trading considers how, and how much, UK shoppers plan to spend ahead of this year’s Christmas. Some shoppers, it seems, are holding their cash back for what’s now become an annual event, others are less convinced that they’ll be getting a deal if they do so, according to research from Salmon. There’s a difference between forecasts and reality, and right now there’s continuing uncertainty as to how retailers will perform, especially given the looming possibility of a no-deal Brexit. In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reflecting on the different ways that retailers are encouraging shoppers to spend, at a time of political and economic uncertainty.
We’re reporting as Arcadia Group offers its shoppers the option of splitting potentially large payments into instalments, with no credit check required. We’re also reporting on how Land Securities says  well-placed stores remain important for retailers, despite the growth of online shopping. Just in case that’s not enough to encourage retailers to snap up an extra store, it’s also making it easier for retailers to rent ready-to-go stores on a short-term basis.
AO World, meanwhile, is widening the range of products its shoppers can buy from it, as it buys pureplay Mobile Phones Direct. Today’s guest comment comes from Maria Prados of Worldpay, who looks at how retailers can make it easier for shoppers to return their goods. 
Image: Fotolia

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