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EDITORIAL How Matalan, Naked Wines and Zalando are responding as confidence falls

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as retailers in the UK and Europe respond to falling consumer confidence. 

That fall in confidence is illustrated in the ONS Retail Sales report, for May 2022, which suggests that shoppers are reining back on spending in areas including food amid the cost-of-living crisis. Shoppers spent less compared to both the same time last year and to the previous month – of April – while the proportion of sales taking place online fell.

Matalan is making omnichannel investment a strategic priority as shoppers continue to buy online in the wake of the shift online during Covid-19. Falling consumer confidence is an issue for its customers but it believes that it offers the value that they need – and is looking to widen its market while developing its online offer.

Naked Wines has returned to profit in a year in which sales continued to grow following the pandemic shift online in its market. The retailer says, however, that it won’t be growth at any price in the current financial year – rather it aims to break even, and says that’s the responsible approach to take at a time of economic uncertainty.

Zalando has lowered its financial expectations for its current year as consumer confidence fell in Europe. It says macroeconomic challenges now look likely to be longer-lasting and more intense than previously expected.

In other news, Menkind owner Gift Universe has expanded its specialist gifts business with the acquisition of Prezzybox. The brand will continue to trade under its existing name and image but will share finance, marketing and buying with Gift Universe’s other brands, which also include Hawkin’s Bazaar.

Today’s guest comment comes from James Brooke of Amplience who advises on making a success of personalisation.

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