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EDITORIAL How retailers from WHSmith and Watches of Switzerland to Lands’ End are planning for the future

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on how retailers are planning ahead as shoppers are set to return to shopping without restrictions from the middle of this  month. In the UK, shoppers do now appear to be returning, slowly, to high streets, according to the latest footfall figures. The question now is to what extent they will return when social distancing requirements end later this month. 

Despite continuing questions, retailers from a range of sectors are planning ahead. 

Luxury watch retailer Watches of Switzerland has seen its sales and profits soar during the Covid-19 and now it is looking ahead to a five-year plan of international expansion, as it looks to take the multichannel model that has proved so successful in the UK over the last year to its existing US market and to a new EU market. 

In today’s interview we speak to Constanze Freienstein of Lands’ End about the way shoppers who buy its comfortable clothing have chosen to buy from it over the last year – and how the retailer is investing in its customer experience for the future.

Books-to-statonery retailer WHSmith is now seeing footfall return to its high street stores, while it continues to see ecommerce perform well. But it’s looking ahead to invest in its still-quiet travel business as it prepares for a return to normal, opening a range of InMotion travel stores at UK airports. 

And we report as jeans an clothing retailer Levi Strauss reports fast-growing direct-to-consumer and online sales in the second quarter, and wider first half, of its financial year. 

Today’s timely guest comment comes from Dr Mona Bitar of EY, who says that retailers cannot rest on their lockdown laurels and must plan to improve their business in order to appear to shoppers as their choices widen. 

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