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EDITORIAL How shoppers are now looking for brands on social media – plus Made and Mothercare on their business strategies

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as Made mulls a stockmarket flotation to finance expansion in both new and existing international markets. The retailer says it’s the largest digitally native retailer in its homewares and furniture sector, and it is set to follow a path set by digitally native fashion brands as it expands to serve younger shoppers who are used to buying online. 

We also report as ONS figures show that UK trade with the EU fell by more than a fifth in the first quarter of 2021, to the point where it was lower than trade with non-EU markets. Atul Bhakta of One World Express is confident, however, that export opportunities will soon improve after a challenging year as demand for UK goods rises post-Covid and post-Brexit.

Mothercare, meanwhile, describes how it has now transformed itself from retailer to brand – designing and arranging manufacture of its products, while its franchisees handle logistics and payment directly with the factories that make them. It is looking forward to profitability after a year in which its sales were 40% down on the previous year. 

The BRC has a new report out looking at reasons why as yet relatively few delivery vehicles operated by retailers are green fuelled. Its research finds that a lack of charging infrastructure, and high costs are among the most important barriers.

A Bazaarvoice Influenster study suggests that social media is a fast growing location for shoppers who are are now browsing and buying on sites including TikTok – which saw the fastest growth, albeit from a relatively low base – during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report suggests that not only are shoppers now more willing to buy on social media, but that when they do buy, they may well do so after finding a brand that was previously new to them. 

In today’s guest comment, Gillian Ewers of Pragmatic considers how RFID and other electronic innovations can help brands to rebuild their relationships with customers. 

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