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EDITORIAL How UK retailers from Lush to Next are taking action in the face of a changing environment

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as climate strikers take to the streets, joined in the UK this time by a small but significant number of retailers. Green beauty business Lush and winter sports business Burton have both shut up shop for the day – online and in-store – freeing staff to join the strikes, while leisurewear brand Patagonia is highlighting the strikes on its website. It’s a small step, but, we think, a significant one, that recognises how retail will end to change in order to play its part in the climate change crisis. Already many brands and retailers are taking steps, from circular strategies that reuse goods at the end of their lives to removing waste from their businesses. There’s more to be done, but what’s clear is that the industry has an important – and potentially inspiring – part to play.

This is just one example in today’s newsletter of how retailers are adapting to a changing world. Next set out in its half-year figures how it was adapting to an evolving retail environment – one in which shoppers prioritise convenience and choice over brand loyalty. Next chief executive Simon Wolfson said that “however uncomfortable this change may be, it is important to keep in mind that ultimately it is great for the consumer and so in the long run it should be good for our industry.” The same might be argued for the importance of adapting to more sustainable ways of selling.

The Next figures came against the background of retail sales that flattened in August as shoppers spent less online, compared to the previous month of July, according to the ONS. However, spending was up compared to the same time last year. 

Today we also report on the CMA concerns that the merger of JD Sports and Footasylum could reduce competition in the growing sports fashion category. 

From our European coverage, we have news of how Ahold Delhaize wants to build an online ecosystem that will enable shoppers to move easily between its brands. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Richard Brassey of Barclays Partner Finance, who looks at how point-of-sale finance fits into the retail industry, and today’s IRC 2019 preview is of the growth and new markets conference. 

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