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EDITORIAL How the shift online is now driving sales at Currys, Hotter, Sainsbury’s, Superdry and more in the wake of pandemic disruption

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as Top500 retailers show that ecommerce is still the power driving their businesses, as they recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Sainsbury’s says it is now the second largest online grocery business, after its digital business doubled in size during the first year of Covid-19. It has continued to invest in capacity and is now bringing back faster delivery and collection. Interestingly, its digital sales have maintained the new higher level that was achieved last year, but have yet to grow further. 

Superdry says that sales are now starting to recover from the disruption, with ecommerce growth pushing forward the business, while store sales remain lower than pre-pandemic despite being fully open. The retailer is now focusing on full-price sales and says that is helping to make it more profitable.

Currys says that spending on omnichannel transformation will peak this year – with the full benefits still to come. The omnichannel technology retailer is now focused on winning customers for life, offering services such as repairs that also go towards making the business more sustainable – and on-demand delivery for London shoppers, via Uber.

Hugo Boss is seeing its sales recover, both online and in-store. The luxury fashion brand is putting ecommerce and social to the centre of its strategy, with a new two country digital campus, and a new website coming soon. 

Shoe brand Hotter is bringing digital into its stores, including its first pop-up store, in Manchester’s Trafford Centre. That comes as the latest footfall figures, from the BRC and Sensormatic IQ, show footfall continuing to be lower than in 2019, but still recovering gradually from more recent pandemic-related lows. 

JD Sports has been told it must sell Footasylum in order to keep the sports fashion market fair for shoppers buying online or in-store. The ruling from the Competition Markets Authority comes after the watchdog was told by the Competition Appeals Tribunal to revisit its earlier finding. JD Sports, meanwhile, says it is considering its options. 

Today we also report on how the peak trading season is expected to go, in the week that John Lewis has launched its ad, an event that seems to have become the unofficial start of the Christmas trading season. There’s a mixture of expectations, ranging from record spending in the first restriction-free Christmas post-Covid, to customer doubts over whether supply chains will hold up  and whether Covid restrictions will return. These are reflected in today’s guest comment, in which Nitin D’Souza of Publicis Sapient asks if the UK supply chain storm will steal Christmas. 

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