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EDITORIAL Mapping the changing shape of UK retail – and delivery

Deliveroo now delivers groceries from supermarkets including Morrisons. Image courtesy of Deliveroo

Deliveroo now delivers groceries from supermarkets including Morrisons. Image courtesy of Deliveroo

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as retailers – and delivery companies – remould themselves into new shapes that meet the changing needs of their customers. 

Boohoo has expanded fast over the last six months, acquiring brands from department store Debenhams through to former Arcadia Group brands Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton. This week it reported rising sales – but falling profits. The retail group has built the infrastructure that it would need to handle £4bn in annual sales, and says that its new acquisitions put it in front of 500m potential customers. 

H&M, meanwhile, is expanding its ecommerce business at the same time as closing shops. The retail group says its strategy reflects its customers’ changing behaviour as they move online to make more of their purchases. 

Lancome is trialling its first virtual pop-up store in the UK. Shoppers can explore the aisles of the virtual store and put things in their basket as they move around it. Lancome says the new technology enables it to talk to younger shoppers in new ways. 

And Deliveroo has moved into retail on its own account – selling groceries that it then delivers to shoppers in central London using its existing logistics infrastructure. Its central London dark stores are stocked with goods from Morrisons, and Deliveroo promises accurate and speedy delivery. 

Today we also ask whether the driver shortages that we’re seeing causing queues at petrol stations are affecting ecommerce home deliveries. While deliveries appear to be running as normal at the moment, there are warnings that the situation is likely to worsen in the run-up to Christmas. 

 

AO says its sales were lower than expected in the first half of its year because of factors including delivery driver shortages, and global supply chain issues. 

And we report as Tesco teams up with InPost to install lockers in around 500 of its supermarkets that could help it meet its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In today’s guest comment, Nate Holmes of Widen argues that seamless omnichannel ecommerce is the key to boosting sales. 

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