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EDITORIAL How retailers from Asda to Primark, Farfetch and Pets at Home are responding to disruption 

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Covid-19 and the disruption it has brought to retail have had far reaching effects. In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as Asda, a week into its new ownership, reports a rethink that shifts its online fulfilment into its stores in a way that promises to create 4,500 jobs while putting 5,000 at risk. More than 3,000 jobs are expected to be lost as a result of a change in approach that is prompted by the way shoppers have gone online to buy in record numbers during the course of the pandemic. The supermarket is responding to the new shape of customer demand, itself brought about the disruption of Covid-19. 

Store-only Primark is feeling the pain as it says first-half sales are likely to be 40% down on the same time last year, largely as a result of Covid-19 induced store closures. But it expects to see a sharp recovery once its stores are able to open. 

That’s also predicted by Springboard today. We report on just how strong it expects the recovery in store footfall to be in a piece that also looks at what product searches tell us about shopper hopes for the end of lockdown. 

Today’s we’re reporting as Farfetch and Pets at Home report a financial boost from a year of Covid-19 related disruption. Farfetch is benefitting as more people opt to buy luxury fashion online at a time when stores have been closed, but Pets at Home is benefitting from its ability to stay keep its stores open to deliver a multichannel service to a fast-growing group of pet owners. And we share RetailX Top500 research that shows how Top500 retailers adjusted their delivery, collection and returns promises in the light of Covid-19.  

In today’s guest comment, Ed Bradley of Virtualstock asks, ahead of next week’s Budget, whether the government is right to consider an online retail sales tax. 

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