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EDITORIAL Looking back to peak trading 2018 and forward to what 2019 may bring

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re looking back to peak trading 2018, with early updates from Next and Gear4 Music, and we report on news that entertainment spending shifted further towards digital in 2018, hastening the demise of HMV. At the same time, we’re looking ahead to find out what changes industry insiders are predicting for the store environment and the wider high street in the coming year. 

If there’s a theme to this early-New Year newsletter, it’s about partnerships and working together to achieve stronger results than might be possible for those working alone. We’re reporting as the British Museum extends its retail partnership in China. This may provide food for thought as retailers consider how they too might forge partnerships in order to boost their business in other parts of the world. Depending on how Brexit discussions develop in coming weeks, looking to other parts of the world may become a priority for many. 

We also report on a good year for Hush: the brand started life online but has since expanded into stores through a partnership and concessions with John Lewis, and has some interesting findings to share around in-store experiences. Again, working with partners has given Hush new opportunities that weren’t previously available to it – while, no doubt, the brand will have brought new customers into branches of John Lewis.

The importance of developing the store while working with others continues into our predictions piece, which today takes in-store as its theme. 

And we tell the story of how shoe brand Hotter focused on what its customers want in order to provide them with a cross channel experience that works for them. It’s all about comfort, says chief executive Sara Prowse, whether that’s about frictionless shoes or shopping journeys.

Today’s guest comment comes from Matthew Robertson of NetDespatch as he considers the thorny question of speed vs cost in delivery. 

Image: Fotolia

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