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EDITORIAL M&S, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Pets at Home, Joules, and more: peak trading in lockdown – and Brexit

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as retailers from Marks & Spencer and Pets at Home to Joules, Sainsbury’s and Argos show what effect lockdown had on their peak trading in 2020. M&S sets out that effect in some detail, while Pets at Home showed fast growth across all its channels.

Sainsbury’s and Argos saw their digital sales reach new heights over Christmas – the supermarket’s online grocery sales rose by 128%, while at Argos, where 90% of sales started online, demand for its same day Fast Track delivery grew by more than 60%. 

Joules says that it was able to make up ground lost from store closures by selling online – although those sales could not also compensate for disruption its wholesale and country show channels. We also cover thelatest full-year figures from MatchesFashion

Through these figures it’s clear that retailers that were classed as essential and had already brought online and stores together to deliver convenience have been able to trade much more easily over the period. But those that already had strong omnichannel systems have now almost got to the point where online is able to compensate for the lack of stores. Getting to that point will now be important for other retailers and in today’s guest comment Stuart Higgins of Bearing Point considers how retailers can make their transition online – prompted by Covid-19 – profitable. 

We look at how the new trading relationship between the UK and the EU trade is developing, one week in, and our latest set of predictions for 2021 looks at how the shopping experience will change over the coming year

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