In today’s InternetRetailing, we’re reporting as retailers – and property developers – look ahead to the end of lockdown.
Amazon is on the front foot as it sets about hiring 10,000 new members of UK staff this year. The new jobs will be in areas from its growing fulfilment network to its corporate office, where it is looking for software engineers and AI specialists, among many others.
Fellow Elite retailer M&S is reshaping its management team as it moves onto the next, second, phase of its transformation plan. It has moved beyond reshaping its stores – and its workforce – as shoppers move further online and is now looking to invest in the brand as it targets growth.
Land Securities has set itself the task of reimagining retail as it works out how its shopping centres will best function in an omnichannel context – and what will help them provide unbeatable alternatives to going online to buy. It’s warning that more retailers will fail, or use tools such as CVAs to slim down their store estates, as government support is gradually withdrawn. But it’s hopeful that this will provide opportunities for new brands, including digital natives, to open shops and help its shopping centres to diversify at the same time.
Topps Tiles says it saw a first-half of two halves, as sales swung from ‘exceptional’ to a decline in the second quarter as lockdown 3.0 bit. The retailer says the figures demonstrate, once more, the importance of its retail model. Since the end of lockdown, sales have improved and the retailer says it’s well place to win customer spending from here.
Shoe Zone has seen its store sales fall – and its digital sales grow quickly in a half-year in which its stores have been shut for a minimum of 16 weeks. Now it’s banking on stores remaining open and planning for investment both in digital and in more stores – although at a slower pace to previously.
Today’s guest comment comes from Saaqib Ahmad Malik of KLC Solutions, who considers how retailers can plan for customer engagement in 2021.