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EDITORIAL How retailers are building back better from Covid-19 – while Brexit challenges loom

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

Ecommerce and multichannel retailers are finding innovative ways to move on from the upheaval of Covid-19. This week The Hut Group, Amazon and the Co-op gave us fresh illustrations of how retailers already planningn to build back better from Covid-19. 

The Hut Group is embarking on one of the largest stockmarket flotations of the year. It’s looking to  use the funds it raises to target higher revenues, with expansion into new markets, in subscriptions and as new corporate customers grow keen to build their own online businesses in a year where ecommerce expansion has suddenly gained pace. 

Meanwhile Amazon says it will increase its UK workforce by a third during the course of 2020. The retailer, an ecommerce leader in the UK, has seen its business grow fast in the light of Covid-19 demand. 

The Co-op is also expanding, and finding new ways of enabling same-day delivery from its stores. Today it’s announcing a tie-up with Pinga for sustainable deliveries in East London – and says it expects to take same-day to more than 650 of its UK stores this year. At the same time it’s opening shops and creating more than 1,000 jobs. 

Lego, meanwhile, reaped the rewards of investment online as children and adults alike turned to its products during lockdown. But it still believes stores will be important to its business model in the future – and expects to open 120 new ones this year alone. 

Challenges lie ahead, nonetheless. This week eight organisations representing UK logistics businesses have written to Michael Gove, the cabinet minister in charge of Brexit preparations, to warn that the UK supply chain will face huge challenges after the Brexit transition period ends – and that action isn’t being taken fast enough. 

In today’s guest comment, James Manderson of Braze considers how brands can stay relevant in the new normal. 

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