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EDITORIAL Ikea, John Lewis, Frasers Group and more: developing multichannel strategies for the way customers now buy

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as retailers adapt their strategies for a fast changing retail environment. Just as shoppers are buying in new ways, so too retailers are adapting to those new and evolving habits.

We report and consider the context as Frasers Group buys Studio Retail, the latest in a line of acquisitions out of administration by the group. It says the purchase of the value retailer, in which it already had a significant stake, will give it expertise that it needs for its ‘elevation’ strategy of taking Frasers Group upmarket and attracting prestige brands to its retail stores.

John Lewis says it’s responding to the shift online by planning to retire its Never Knowingly Undersold pledge. The retailer says the pledge, first made 97 years ago to enable shoppers to check prices between local shops, no longer works in an age in which shoppers increasingly buy online.

Ikea says it will invest £1bn over the next three years to become more convenient and accessible for shoppers in London and the wider UK. Innovations from the furniture retailer start with its first new small format store, designed around the needs of commuters, and will also include Collect Near You lockers that aims to reduce the cost of furniture collections for customers, while its new Dartford customer distribution centre aims to boost the retailer’s online distribution capacity and at the same time cut the emissions related to home delivery.

And we report as the growing appetite for luxury goods propels Farfetch to a full-year profit.

We also have an interesting counterpoint. We report as Victorian Plumbing and Séraphine this week – separately – warn that growing costs will dent their profits to varying extents – and as half-year figures from The Very Group suggest that while sales have dipped from last year’s lockdown-driven peak, its profits have risen boosted by a fall in its distribution costs, thanks in part to automation.

In today’s guest comment, Maja Schaefer of Zowie asks what the metaverse means for retail – and how retailers can get on board.

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