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EDITORIAL M&S, H&M, Asda: how retailers are planning for a brighter longer-term despite short-term woes

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report on the retail industry’s short-term problems, but with a healthy dose of optimism that things are set to improve in the medium to longer-term.

In the short term, we report as the latest IMRG figures suggest that ecommerce sales put in a “pretty awful” performance in May, falling by 8.7% during the month, compared to last year. Average basket values hit a new record – but the chances are that was driven by inflation.

The number of people working in retail in the last quarter is 80,000 than it was at the same time last year, according to BRC analysis of ONS figures, and the BRC says it’s high time the apprenticeship scheme was reformed to encourage new entrants to join.

Supply chain issues are likely to continue all year, says Logistics UK in its annual report. On the horizon the government seems to be heading for a possible trade dispute with the EU – just as the UK’s trade with the EU was recovering.

However, Logistics UK also sees brighter times ahead, thanks to the resilience of the logistics industry in the UK that has kept supply chains going through challenging times.

The IGD’s grocery market forecast suggests that retail will grow over the next five years, with online sales growing faster still. It predicts that ecommerce will be the fastest growing channel of all from 2025, as retailers get past the short term woes and can look beyond repairing profitability to focus once more on sales growth.

Retailers too are planning for a brighter longer-term. M&S, H&M and Bestseller are all working with their suppliers to improve the sustainability of their businesses, while Asda is reimagining its retail systems around being relevant to its customers’ needs.

In today’s guest comment, Amy Bryson of Iris argues that the partnership between Love Island and eBay could prove to be a match made in heaven when it comes to that long-term, more sustainable, future.

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