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EDITORIAL How retailers are responding to shoppers who want to buy online in lockdown and beyond

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on a peak trading season in which a growing number of retailers are now launching Black Friday campaigns as they look to benefit from online spending during lockdown and to spread demand from customers to ensure that delivery systems don’t become overwhelmed. Retailers appear to be playing it safe this year, with final delivery dates falling as early as December 12, and with relatively few daring to promise same-day delivery on Christmas Eve. 

Gear4music is among those that has benefited from the growing appetite for online shopping and it says in half-year results today that it’s now able to deliver more profitably on fast sales growth than in previous years. It’s put measures in place to deal with the added challenge of Brexit, which, it predicts, is set to bring more consolidation to its market. 

This is perhaps reflected in an encouraging study from Barclays that suggests preparations for Brexit may have helped retailers manage Covid and may in time see them through the future Brexit challenges to come. Certainly, Gear4music is among those that has put its Brexit preparations in place over several years and is now seeing rising sales and profitability. 

Debenhams, meanwhile, is focusing on its active beauty community as it finds new ways to engage with shoppers while its English stores remain closed under the current Covid-19 lockdown. We report on how it’s turning to social media and to virtual consultations to communicate. 

JD Sports, meanwhile, is set to have its case for its merger with Footasylum reconsidered following an appeal ruling that found the CMA had sufficiently taken into account the effects of Covid-19 on its market. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Bev White of Harvey Nash who assesses how retailers are investing in retail technology as digital becomes the default. 

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