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EDITORIAL Joules perky results, Amazon’s fine and how Christmas shopping has started already

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Joules results show that ecommerce continues to play a vital role in fashion and garden sales, contributing £122m of the £199m logged by the retailer in FY21. It also shows that shopper optimism is alive and well – and leading to sales.

A study out this week, for instance, shows just how that shopper optimism seems to be returning, with as many as a quarter of consumers actively starting their Christmas shopping before August is out, hoping for a more normal festive season than last year.

Elsewhere, we report as Amazon says it may have to pay what amounts to a record fine for an alleged GDPR breach – but that it plans to defend the claim.

We also hear from Stuart McClure of Love the Sales on the importance of getting the price right. The marketplace says it finds that shoppers are looking for a discount – but a smaller discount on an in-season may encourage them to buy more effectively than a larger one on an older product. 

We report on news of a shortage of delivery drivers as many of those that stepped in when their retail and hospitality workplaces shut down during the pandemic have now returned to their former roles they used to take on. Online flexible working marketplace Indeed Flex suggests that the number of available delivery shifts is rising just as the number of people available to fill them has fallen. 

In today’s guest comment, Manley of Corigan sets out his view of how intelligent automation and organic search can help preserve brands in an era of artificial intelligence.

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