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EDITORIAL Navigating change: Land Securities on the future of shopping; Gear4music on Brexit

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as retailers and the wider industry continue to adapt to changing consumer behaviour, spurred by both the shift online and the effects of Covid-19. Retailers are also adapting to challenges including Brexit. 

We start with Land Securities, which is betting that prime retail destinations will benefit as shoppers make more of their purchases online – because it’s hard to replicate the shopping centre experience online. Currently, it’s seeing online-first retailers, from Amazon down, opening stores in its shopping centres. It also predicts that 25% of UK retail space will be surplus to requirements by 2025, but takes the view that will mostly affect secondary space. 

Gear4music today says that Brexit has hit it harder than expected, despite its preparations for changes. That, it says, is both because changes to trading have caused delays that are longer than it thought, while it has also taken longer than it thought it scale-up the European distribution centres that it says will help it sell to Europe longer-term.

We also report on, which has prospered as more people took up exercise during lockdowns, and then bought the equipment they needed online as well. The retailer has reported strong sales and profit growth over its latest financial year. 

Elsewhere, we report as Asda trials a new loyalty app, as new research suggests that five times as many searches start on marketplaces as on brand websites, and as the Royal Mail gears up for Peak with a new automated sorting machine. 

In today’s guest comment, Eleanor Thomas of Wholee Prime argues that Covid-19 may well have changed retail for the better. 

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