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EDITORIAL How B&Q, John Lewis and M&S are retooling their businesses for the digital-first shopper

Image: Vlad Kochelaevskiy/Shutterstock

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on how retailers from B&Q to John Lewis and M&S are retooling their businesses for a future in which shoppers seem likely to be buying ever more online – indeed, moving to digital-first shopping.

M&S has unveiled the new leadership team that will take its business into the second phase of a transformation that aims to equip it to meet the evolving needs of digital and cross-channel shoppers, following the news that chief executive Steve Rowe is to step down after six years. During his time, the business has started to sell its food online – via the Ocado Retail joint venture – and doubled the proportion of clothing and homewares sales that take place online, while closing more than 60 shops and reducing the amount of floorspace dedicated to those categories.

B&Q has launched a new marketplace, and the DIY retailer expects that the move will enable it to treble the range available on its website within six months. The retailer says since that marketplaces are the fastest growing

John Lewis shows the effect that its customers’ shift online has had on its business, as it reports record full-year sales for a year in which it has 16 fewer stores than it did before the pandemic and the rest were closed for 10 weeks in lockdowns. More of Waitrose’s sales are also online, but the supermarket says the cost of online fulfilment has impacted its profitability.

Hugo Boss says that 20% of its sales are through ecommerce, and it is continuing to invest in both digital and stores with the expectations that 30% of it sales could be online by 2025.

Boohoo reports a 14% rise in sales in its latest financial year – but says returns and supply chain-related delays are up.

In today’s guest comment, Tom Moore of VMLY&R Commerce considers how – and why – supermarkets are working with partners in their stores.

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