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EDITORIAL Putting brands centre stage, and other visions of the future of ecommerce and multichannel retail

Image courtesy of Situ Live

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on some very different visions of the future of retail. 

Situ Live sees a “discovery playhouse” where shoppers can touch, feel and try branded products before buying at from the retailer of their choice. It’s all about brand awareness rather than instant sales. The first Situ Live site opened this week, and there are plans for more next year. 

At the RetailX Nexus event held this week, senior retailers – many returning to face-to-face events for the first time since Covid-19 – focused on what needs to change in the industry, and why and how, in conversations around issues from sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion, to the retail experience. 

At N Brown Group, the strategy is now to focus on profitability of its strategic brands rather than on discount-led sales – one that seems to be working, as the retailer reported flat sales but a doubling in first half profits. Raising brand awareness is, once again, key to boosting the bottom line – while sustainability, including sourcing 50% of cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative is also a priority. 

Levi’s is seeing its sales shift online, whether that’s through its own digital channels or those of its wholesale customers. More shoppers are buying direct from the brand at the same time. 

Boden says it’s investing in improving its customer experience as it recovers from the effects of Covid-19 on its business. It envisages a customer-focused business that will be both more sustainable and more agile online. 


Trade credit insurer Euler Hermes meanwhile, warns that the shift online could cost grocers at the bottom line. The way forward, it’s suggested, is to invest in ensuring that delivery is as profitable for online as for physical retail. 

In today’s guest comment, Peter Martin of SMP considers the potential challengers to leading marketplace Amazon. 

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