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EDITORIAL How retailers from Hotel Chocolat and Halfords to Asos and Seraphine are planning for growth

Stores are front and centre in many retailers' growth plans. Image courtesy of Hotel Chocolat

In today’s InternetRetailing we’re reporting as retailers are planning for expansion and reassessing how their different sales channels are working as they emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Hotel Chocolat shows how it expanded its digital retail and subscriptions during Covid-19 lockdowns, growing its customer numbers and building relationships that are now supported by its “brand building stores”. Now it’s more than doubled its distribution capacity and is set to expand its chocolate factory. 

Maternity and nursing clothing business Seraphine is floating on the stockmarket with a £150m valuation and plans for international and digital expansion. It’s planning to do that by opening new websites but also by working with new pureplay and multichannel digital partners. 

Quiz says its sales are in recovery thanks to the reopening of shops and hospitality venues – and it’s predicting better to come. 

Asos, meanwhile, has struck a partnership with North American multichannel retailer Nordstrom as it looks to expand its former Arcadia Group brands – Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT – in North America. 

And Halfords is expanding into a new area of business, as it commercialises its own in-house developed software, enabling other retailers and suppliers to use it in order to manage the services they offer both online and offline.

Today’s stories come as the latest figures from the BRC and Barclaycard suggest customers are spending more on retail purchases as Covid-19 restrictions ease – with new records set in the latest quarter.

In today’s guest comment, Ben Law of GoDaddy says that levelling up has already begun for online retailers – with microbusinesses set up during the pandemic now starting to flourish.

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