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EDITORIAL How retailers from AO to John Lewis are evolving as shoppers buy more online

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as the latest figures show online sales continuing to stay high – and as retailers continue to move towards a future in which shoppers will continue to buy online. 

John Lewis says that 60% of its sales are now online and it’s finding new ways to get closer to those online shoppers and reach beyond its physical footprint, now reduced to 42 shops. It is looking to digital, virtual experiences and delivery as it aims to take in-store events online and reach as far as it can via an expanded click and collect network. At the same time, it is challenging itself to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2025. 

Dunelm is continuing to see its sales grow as shoppers buy more homewares online  – so much so that it’s planning to repay furlough funding if things continue to go well.  

AO is also seeing its online sales jump, as shoppers continued to buy online through the first quarter of its year, even now that its multichannel competitors have reopened their shops.

This appears to be part of a wider shift online that’s continued despite customers now being able buy in shops, albeit with social distancing. It’s reflected in new Royal Mail findings that 16,000 new ecommerce businesses started up between March and July this year

Certainly, that’s what the IMRG’s latest figures – for September – suggest. It says higher levels of ecommerce growth are now being normalised, and that has implications for the way shoppers want to buy this Christmas. It points to retailers encouraging shoppers to buy early – through events such as this week’s Amazon Prime Day – in order to ensure that delivery networks can cope with demand. 

In today’s guest comment Ollie Shepherd of Sweetshop asks what represents value in 2020.

And as UK prime minister Boris Johnson this lunchtime warns businesses to prepare for a no deal exit from the Brexit transition period, we refer you to our recent series of stories on getting ready for Brexit, deal or no deal. Part 1 covers VAT and EORI numbers, part 2 covers customs, logistics and warehousing, and part 3 is all about rules of origin and data

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