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EDITORIAL How Morrisons, M&S, Burberry, JD Sports and Hammerson are evolving their businesses as the shape of retail continues to shift

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as the latest UK trade figures show that exports to the EU fell by 41% in January – and took overall UK trade figures to their biggest monthly decline since the ONS’ records began. We consider the figures from an ecommerce perspective

Hammerson shows, in full-year figures, how much retail and the role of shops has changed in the last year – but even though it has taken a £1.7bn hit this year as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns it’s now expecting to see demand rise in city centres long-term. It’s worth pointing out that the retail developer and operator was selling its retail parks and focusing on the ‘best’ and ‘exceptional’ shopping centres for investment – just a month before Covid-19 upended its predictions and shopping shifted instead to retail parks and local shopping streets. 

Morrisons saw its online sales triple in its latest financial year – and the retailer’s figures show how that’s been bolstered by finding a range of different ways to deliver online orders, from Deliveroo to Amazon and most recently stocking the new ‘just walk out’ Amazon Fresh shop.  Burberry, too, has let digital lead in the search to grow sales during the Covid-19 pandemic – today we report that it is raising its profit expectations as fourth quarter sales rebound. 

M&S is exploring whether third-party brands will bring more people to its website – this week we’re reporting as it adds the up-and-coming Sosandar fashion brand to the mix. JD Sports, meanwhile, has bought a Central European multichannel retailer as it looks to build its scale and attract top-level brands. 

We’re also reporting as the Royal Mail trials Sunday deliveries – and as its parcel pick-up scheme makes its millionth collection in the first five months of operation. We also report as Barbour uses MetaPack technology to improve its fulfilment options.

In today’s guest comment, Gerhard Zehethofer of ForgeRock argues that omnichannel will e key to saving the in-store experience post-lockdown.

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