Close this search box.

EDITORIAL Managing peak sales for the back-to-school rush

Smartphones are now key to the way parents and other customers want to shop
In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re in back to school mood, and in that spirit we’re reporting on how parents shop at this peak time of year – and how retailers can adapt their businesses to suit the needs of this time-pressed but big-spending group. For this time of year is now the third-biggest UK shopping event of the year, according to Mintel, with parents expected to spend close to £1bn as they kit out students for the academic year ahead with goods from uniform and shoes to technology.
It’s a subject close to my heart – this week saw the rush around our local shopping mall for those last minute shoes and other essential buys before the return to school next week. Unlike many other shopping trips, it’s one that’s easier in the store and requires taking often reluctant children along as well. This parent certainly appreciated the robust approach that many retailers now take to the back to school rush, with the ability to book shoe fitting appointments in advance, and plenty of extra staff on the sales floor. 
Before schools go back next week, we end the holiday season with our last focus on the IRUK and IREU Top500 dimensions with a final look at Strategy & Innovation. 
We report on news from Chinese retailer of how it’s making hotel rooms the latest potential location for mobile, QR-powered shopping. This, says, is the latest example of what it’s calling ’boundaryless retail’ – making anywhere a possible place for the retail sale. Such approaches are both strategic and innovative, with the potential to further change the way that we all buy.
Today we consider four highly practical approaches to strategy and innovation, including tactics used by IRUK Top500 retailers from Morrisons to Ikea and John Lewis, and beyond. We look to Wiggle and China Reaction Cycles for inspiration around international growth and we consider the strategic context of today’s retailing, with a back-to-school look of the challenging times that lie ahead into the autumn and beyond. 


Today’s guest comment comes from Deborah Loh of Eurostop on what the new experiential shopper now expects of retailers – and how they can provide it.

RetailCraft podcast

Find out more about the first two episodes of InternetRetailing’s RetailCraft podcasts featuring Heals and the Rug Company.

RetailCraft 01 – David Kohn of Heals – “probably the most sceptical man in the industry”? Surely not!

RetailCraft 02 – Sarah Stagg of The Rug Company and the 2018 IREU Top500


Find out more about upcoming InternetRetailing webinars and register for free on the InternetRetailing webinar page. You can also catch up with past webinars on the page.

Image: Fotolia

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on